Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

'Mythical Maze' Summer Reading Challenge inspiring young readers

Friday, 22 August 2014

More than 24,800 children have so far signed up for this year's 'Mythical Maze' Summer Reading Challenge at Hampshire libraries and there is still time to get involved.

The 'Mythical Maze' theme for the 2014 Summer Reading Challenge was created by top illustrator Sarah McIntyre. It invites children to find their way around a labyrinth that introduces them to fantastical creatures from the world of legend and mythology, collecting stickers of each character along the way.

Each time they finish a fictional or non fictional book from the library, children can collect a sticker and after six books they can claim a certificate and a medal. The 24,800 that have signed up for this years challenge will be reading at least 140,000 books between them during the summer holidays.

The challenge runs until Saturday 13 September 2014 in Hampshire County Council's libraries and is aimed at 4 to 12 year olds. It's open to all children and if they are not library members already, they can join on the day they sign up. Certificates and medals are available while stocks last.

Across the nation every year the Summer Reading Challenge helps get three quarters of a million children into libraries to maintain their reading skills and confidence during the long summer holidays when their reading activity can dip.

Hampshire's libraries have embraced this year's challenge to encourage youngsters to sign up and keep reading.

In Winchester 322 children signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge in the first week and during the summer there are plenty of workshops, story telling sessions and arts and crafts events going on with a 'Mythical Maze' theme.

Gosport Discovery Centre has a roaring dragon that guards the treasure of medals inside a specially created cave. There is also a competition to 'name the dragon.'

At Stubbington library children have the choice of a griffin or a Pegasus to colour-in when they register and their pictures are added to the wall maze for everyone to see.

Events in other Hampshire libraries include themed storytimes, t-shirt making and arts and crafts events.

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Keith Chapman, said: "Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge 2014 is an ideal activity for children before they go back to school in September and there is still time to sign up and join the challenge. For those who will be going to school for the first time, sharing books with adults and taking part in the challenge can be great preparation and help them to be'reading ready'. The challenge has been running for 13years in Hampshire and every year, more children are inspired to take part."

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