Sunday, 7 June 2015

Becoming a Reading Activist

Hello everyone,

I want to talk about a scheme that's run across many of the public libraries in the UK. It's the Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge. You may have heard of it before. You may have even participated in it.

The challenge is aimed at 4-11 year olds and takes place over the summer holiday. The idea is that participating children read six books over the school holidays and get to play a bit of game alongside this! Did I mention that there are prizes involved, too? The theme for this year is Record Breakers, and you can find out more information here.

Now, it's likely that you're not between the ages mentioned above and cannot take part in the challenge. However, you do have the opportunity to volunteer as a reading activist who will help run the challenge. It is primarily aimed at 14-24 year olds to help build CVs but anyone who is above the age of the children participating can volunteer if they wish to. If this interests you, please check with your local library to see if they run the challenge and are in need of volunteers.

One of the great things about volunteering for this is that is works around you. You choose when you want to volunteer and for how many hours. You can decide each week when you want to do it, or you can decide to commit to a couple of hours on the same day each week. My point is, by volunteering to help out you won't lose out on doing anything else you want to do over the summer. Most of the libraries will reward you with a certificate if you do over ten hours, and if you're doing two hours every day you do it then you only need to volunteer for five days.

As a volunteer, you will have to greet children and their parents when they come to the library. You will then have to explain what the challenge is and encourage the children to enjoy reading. If the children are returning for their second or third visit, you will be expected to talk to them about what they have read and reward them with prizes provided. But you won't be alone! Before all of this happens you will be given a training session on what to do and throughout the challenge the library staff are always on hand to give you some extra help if needed.

If volunteering for this does interest you, don't hesitate to get involved! Libraries need volunteers to be able to run this challenge and it makes reading enjoyable for children. A couple of hours a week really isn't much, is it? Please do ask for more information at your local library if you wish to get involved.

Thank you for reading.
If you have any questions, please comment below! 

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