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The Gadgeteers land in Welsh libraries to launch summer reading challenge

09 Jul 2022 3 minute read
Summer Reading Challenge poster

This weekend sees the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge in Wales – described as an exciting initiative to get children reading over the summer holidays.

This summer, children aged 4-11 can visit their local library to meet the Gadgeteers and to get involved in a science and innovation themed Summer Reading Challenge.

Through taking part in the Challenge, with free materials from libraries across Wales and online via the Challenge website, children will be able to join six fictional Gadgeteers.

The characters – brought to life by children’s writer and illustrator Julian Beresford – use their curiosity and wonder to understand the science behind a whole range of interests, from fashion and technology to cooking and music.

Organisers say that through an exciting book collection and with accompanying activities, the Gadgeteers will help to spark children’s curiosity about the world around them and encourage them to feed their imagination over the summer holiday.

With plenty of great options across picture books, early readers and middle grade books, the challenge aims to boggle children with brilliant facts, get them gazing at the stars, and inspire with tales of creativity and invention.

Motivating children

The Welsh Government and the Books Council of Wales are working together to bring the Summer Reading Challenge to libraries and communities across Wales.

During 2021, the Summer Reading Challenge reached 21,148 children across Wales in partnership with public libraries.

The Challenge continued to reach well over half a million children across the UK in 2021 as lockdowns eased, motivating children to keep reading during a difficult time.

Families told The Reading Agency that taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge helped their children to enjoy reading more, feel more confident about reading and ‘feel better’ during a tough period.

Family use of libraries also increased amongst Challenge participants, with more than 1779 children from Wales joining the library as new members.

World of possibilities

Angharad Sinclair, Books Council of Wales, said: “The Books Council of Wales is proud to work alongside The Reading Agency and public libraries to support this valuable and important initiative again this year.

“We believe that a love of reading is a wonderful and powerful tool, that not only equips them with an important life skill, but also opens up a world of possibilities and adventures.

“What better way to enjoy the summer holidays than exploring the wealth of books that are on offer through your local library and having fun with the Gadgeteers at the same time!”

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden, said; “There’s nothing better than getting carried away in a good book or two over the summer holidays, and I’m delighted that we’re able to support libraries across Wales to make reading a fun-filled activity for children across Wales – and to help them discover the joy of reading and spark their imaginations.”

Education Minister, Jeremy Miles, said: “The summer holidays are a great time to discover new stories and enjoy sharing them with family and friends.

“The Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to ignite a passion for reading in children so they can develop the important skills they need later in life.”

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Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago

Sounds like a good idea but one hopes that it will go beyond just reading about things. The title Gadgeteers seems to me to imply that the whole scheme should be about getting kids to read about things and then go off and make stuff like robots. Such a shame that woodwork and metalwork were stripped out of the curriculum in favour of … something else.

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