Every summer, libraries all over the UK run a summer reading scheme for school age children. The summer holidays can be a loooong break for the children (and parents!) and so a weekly trip to the library offers some structure to the time you have together and the children can gain rewards as they go along the story journey!
Each year has a different theme - this year the title is "Story Lab" ("Lab Straeon" yn Gymraeg!). With each visit to the library, they receive a small prize and stickers to add to the chart to show their progress through the bronze, silver and gold stages. My children love to receive the medal and certificate at the end of the challenge - for us, this is usually presented at school in a special assembly when they have started the new term in September.
There is a website linked to the scheme - this provides additional fun and educational activities. There is not a reading list as such, but the "Book Sorter" on the webiste is a handy way of encouraging your child to read something different but that has been recommnded and is age appropriate.
The scheme is free to join and is supported by The Reading Agency, Welsh Books Council and the Welsh Government - this year it is also part of the London 2012 Festival.
With the summer holidays now in full swing, why not try your library for ideas? It's (usually) free to join, there's a wealth of information and books just waiting for you to have access to and you never know, you may learn something new yourself whilst browsing for books.
Keeping children reading throughout the summer holidays is important to continue their education. It is a sad fact that children read less now than years ago, but with free schemes like this one there's no excuse to not join in! They will be keeping up with their learning without realising as they can choose the books they wish to borrow and so keep themselves interested in the process.
Currently on the Story Lab website, there's a competition running where your child can finish a story that has been started by various children's authors... my eldest has decided which one she is going to complete so watch this space for the fairytale ending to a never heard before story!