Summer Reading Challenge launched

Barry Hutchison with local school pupils Amy Fraser, Struan Pirie, Charlie Bagshaw and Jack Hendry
Barry Hutchison with local school pupils Amy Fraser, Struan Pirie, Charlie Bagshaw and Jack Hendry

Author Barry Hutchison has joined Aberdeenshire pupils to launch a challenge that inspires thousands of children every summer to read.

The annual Summer Reading Challenge, sponsored by Total E&P UK, was launched recently at Ellon Academy Community Campus.

The theme of this year’s challenge, ‘Your Place, Your Space…Just Read’, is about the places we go to so we can enjoy a good read.

Each child taking part in the challenge will receive a themed card to keep track of the books they read, collecting one sticker for each book and receiving a book prize after reading six books or more.

A photo competition is also being held, open to all children whether they are taking part in the reading challenge or not.

Children should submit a photo or drawing of themselves reading a book in a place of their choice in Aberdeenshire with a caption in Doric if possible.

The only limit is the child’s imagination – it could be a familiar place, somewhere unusual, a holiday location, by a landmark or even a secret place.

All photographs submitted must be accompanied by the appropriate permission from a parent or guardian so that the photos can be published.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Councillor Alison Evison, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge gets bigger and better every year and as 2016 is the 100th birthday of author Roald Dahl, the book prizes on offer will include some of his children’s titles as well as a selection of other authors’ books to suit lots of different ages and interests.

“As a first for the Summer Reading Challenge, a book will be created with the winning photographs, drawings and captions as part of the photography competition to celebrate the joy of reading in Aberdeenshire communities.”

Around 7,500 pupils take part in the annual event which is organised by library staff within Aberdeenshire Council’s Education & Children’s Services.