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Gadgeteers inspire children to read over the summer

Published 21 October 2022

The theme of this year's Summer Reading Challenge for children aged four-11 year was 'Gadgeteers' which aimed to inspire children to use their curiosity and creativity to discover the science behind the everyday and celebrated the role of the imagination in both reading and the sciences. The scheme also supports children to keep reading over the holidays and avoid a skill 'dip' when they return to school.

Children were given special packs containing Gadgeteer posters and sticker sheets - rewards for each book read. 3,831 of the children registered returned to collect their final rewards, including a medal and certificate, and to talk to staff and volunteers about their reading experience - an increase of 52% on 2021.

Some libraries offered additional activities, including LEGO Club sessions in Chippenham and Salisbury library which were very popular and went well with the Gadgeteers theme.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Libraries said; "The Summer Reading Challenge was the successful culmination of a series of events for Wiltshire Year of Reading. Families were pleased to have the challenge back running face-to-face again in libraries after the last few difficult years due to the Covid pandemic.

"Ensuring that young people in Wiltshire get the best start in life is a council priority and the Summer Reading Challenge has an important part to play in delivering this. We have received a lot of great feedback from parents and guardians about the impact it has had on their child's reading, with 85% saying taking part in the challenge had improved their reading.

"I would like to thank all the 158 volunteers that supported our library staff in delivering the challenge for their time and enthusiasm in supporting the children taking part. Many were returning volunteers, but there were 64 new volunteers including seven that volunteered as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. Between them the volunteers gave 2,454 hours of time."

Some of the comments we have received from parents and guardians include:

'First time I (Dad) have seen [my daughter] sitting down to read a book to herself in public, ignoring distractions, with good comprehension'. (Chippenham)

'It really helped us keep reading when we weren't in school and reminded us what wonderful books and adventures we can have from visiting the library' (Malmesbury)

'I really liked it. My mind goes free when I read books'. (Chippenham)

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