Go Gadgeteer crazy with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge

The free event aims to show that reading and science is for everyone.


Release date: 6 July 2022

The school holidays are nearly here, which can only mean one thing... the Summer Reading Challenge is back at all 36 West Sussex Libraries.

This year’s theme is Gadgeteers and aims to inspire children to see the science and innovation behind everyday objects, showing that reading and science is for everyone.

From Saturday 9 July, children from across the county will be able to follow the story of the Gadgeteers, six budding inventors with their own super talents who work as a team to plan a party for their town’s summer fair.

To take part in the challenge, all children and their families need to do is:

  • sign up online from Saturday 9 July by visiting westsussex.gov.uk/src and look out for the secret code word,
  • go to their local library, mention the code word to staff and pick up their pack, which includes a fold-out map and scratch & sniff stickers,
  • borrow some books to read at home or download eBooks and eAudiobooks from the eLibrary.

Children can decide how many books they would like to read during the challenge and the best part is, it’s completely free.

Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “As we move closer to the school holidays, families will be wondering what they can do to keep their children busy without spending a fortune. This is where the Summer Reading Challenge comes in as it is an absolutely free way to keep the children entertained. All you need to do is be a library member, which is also free, and sign up your child online or at your nearest library.

“All of our libraries are eager to welcome families to come and participate and help them to pick out something that they enjoy reading, whether that’s picture books and comics or audiobooks and newspapers. There’s also a ‘Mini Challenge’ for preschool children, so they can take part too.”

Look out for the popular Hunt the Character activity in all libraries from Saturday 23 July, as well as lots of special Gadgeteers events and activities taking place at your local library throughout the summer.

A medal and certificate will be available for children to collect once they have completed the challenge. Simply pop into any West Sussex Library from Monday 1 August where children can also share the details of which was their favourite book with the staff.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge sees The Reading Agency partner with Science Museum Group and is designed to encourage children aged 4 to 11 to enjoy the benefits of reading for pleasure.

The challenge also helps to stop the ‘reading dip’ which tends to happen when children aren’t in school for long periods of time, like the summer holidays.

The Summer Reading Challenge runs until Saturday 10 September and children can sign up for free at any time before then.

Children will need a West Sussex library card to take part, but it’s free to join online or by visiting your local library.

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