Summer Reading Challenge 2022

Big Salford Summer Read

Get ready for an amazing adventure this summer with the Big Salford Summer Read. Collect your free passport and map from any Salford library…and set sail on a mind-blowing reading journey of a lifetime!

What is it?

We are calling all reading voyagers aged 4-12 years old to take the trip of a lifetime into the land of books. Enjoy some of our fabulous reads, exciting rewards and fun activities to spark your imagination. Reading voyagers need to be a member of Salford Libraries to take part. Joining is free and easy!

When you’re ready to embark on your reading journey, pop down to any Salford library and join up. All joiners receive a reading passport and a map of the Land of Books. Every time you visit we’ll stamp your passport – there are lots of stamps to collect! You choose your own reading goal – how many books will you read on your reading journey? Earn a certificate of achievement for completing your reading goal.

Each island in the land of books offers a challenge that will expand your horizons. There are plenty of rewards for discovering books, including stickers and badges to collect for each book read. We offer so many ways to enjoy stories, from browsing the newest titles at your local library to reading or listening to books using our Borrowbox app.

For the truly adventurous, you can tackle our super-challenge and read every day over summer! Super explorers that complete the super challenge will receive a special medal.

And once you’ve completed your reading journey, why not go on another journey and explore the Salford Literacy Trail? There are twenty book-shaped sculptures to discover around the city! Find out more. #SalfordBookBenches.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
— Dr. Seuss

Information for parents

The Big Salford Summer Read is a summer reading challenge for children aged 4-12 years old. We offer lots of incentives to encourage children to read books and activities to keep them entertained. Children will need to join to take part but joining the library and the Big Salford Summer Read is completely free.

The reading challenge helps to keep your child’s mind active and maintain their reading skills during the summer holidays. This will help them when they return to school in September. More importantly, reading is fun!

Reading helps to improve children’s wellbeing and mental health, and increases empathy towards others and reduces feelings of loneliness. It can be fitted in anywhere, anytime, on your own, or as a family.

  • Reading challenges can help your child with their reading and language skills, but in a way which enjoyable and relaxing because they are reading for enjoyment and relaxation. Reading for pleasure has more impact upon children’s academic skills than your education and background.
  • Sharing books can help children to better understand the world around them. This builds key social and emotional skills, such as empathy for others, and so improves children’s wellbeing and mental health.
  • Developing a love of reading can help create a reading habit that is lifelong. Adults who read report reading improves wellbeing and decreases loneliness.
  • Reading books from the library provides opportunities to read a wider range of books. All our libraries are completely free to use, and as we understand concerns about borrowing books, we never fine children for late, damaged or lost books. Libraries are welcoming spaces, and are a perfect place for children to relax, play or meet with friends. We regularly update our stock, meaning your child will have access to the newest titles and most popular series…without spending a penny! All our libraries offer a wide range of books, suitable for all ages, abilities, and interests. They also offer free computer access.
  • It’s free to borrow books and visit – saving those pennies for other things!
  • No charges for overdue, lost or damaged books. It’s a stress-free way to access books!
  • Access to a large collection of books across our libraries, enabling children to read a wider range of books.
  • It’s risk-free – as it’s free to borrow it’s an inexpensive way to introduce children to new books.
  • Access to the newest titles: we are constantly updating our stock, with bestselling books arriving monthly.
  • Access to online services – membership enables your child to download Borrowbox, which has a vast collection of e-books and e-audio books.
  • We’re central – our libraries are located in the heart of the community.
  • We offer events and activities to entertain, engage and support children in their reading journey.
  • There’s something for everyone – we have all genres and formats of books, for every type of reader.
  • We’re friendly – library staff are welcoming and knowledgeable, ensuring children can build their confidence and knowledge using our spaces.

Yes! There will be an event programme running over the summer holidays for children and families. We are offering a range of exciting activities which are fun, educational and spark the imagination. So, whether you have a love of Lego or a love of science, we have something for you this summer! We even offer some free events, meaning you can pack more fun events into your summer.

Information for teachers

What is the Big Salford Summer Read?

It is a summer reading challenge which focuses upon fostering a love of reading. Children are encouraged to read for pleasure, as satisfying curiosity and enjoyment nurtures more positive attitudes towards reading. The Big Salford Summer Read aims to work more with parents to support a reading culture which can improve the wellbeing of families through the enjoyment of reading as a recreational activity.

How does the Big Salford Summer Read work?

Children who take part in the Big Salford Summer Read need to be members of the library, so joining the Big Salford Summer Read also means that children are introduced to a wide range of books of books.

Each child who joins the Big Salford Summer Read will receive a reading passport, map and sticker. Children devise their own reading goal, so that they can choose a goal which is ambitious but realistic for them. This means that successful completion of their reading goal is more likely, and also more meaningful – we want children to be proud of their achievement. To celebrate that achievement, upon completion of their reading goal children will receive a certificate. To maintain interest, we have goodies to collect along the way. Children will receive a stamp in their passport every time they visit the library, and there are stickers and badges to collect as an incentive to keep reading.

The Big Salford Summer Read invites children to tackle reading challenges which have been devised to encourage more diverse reading, introducing children to new genres and authors. This increases the breadth of children’s reading, and increases the likelihood that more reluctant readers will find appealing books. We are encouraging children to develop a reading habit with our superchallenge – we’re asking children to read every day over the summer holidays. Children will be awarded a medal for completing the superchallenge.

Children can choose to read whatever books they want to read. We have a wide range of stock in different formats. In addition to our physical books stocks, we provide access to e-books and e-audios through the Borrowbox app. This allows children to access the newest, most popular titles. Additionally, our stock is selected to ensure we meet a wide range of needs and abilities.

Staff will be encouraging those who join the challenge to complete book reviews and/or artwork related to the books they are enjoying. There will be a prize draw for all review and art submitted to us – those successful will receive book tokens.

Why should children take part?

Reading over the summer holidays can help children maintain their reading skills, and so ameliorate the dip often seen in reading skills during that time. Preventing this reduction in reading skills is especially critical this year due to the detrimental effect of school closures upon attainment in some areas, particularly for reading and maths for children in key stage 1 (DfE, 2021).  For this reason, a recent review into the effects of the pandemic upon attainment has recommended greater engagement in literacy programmes, plus promotion of social and cultural activities which support literacy and language, and increased support and connection within communities (National Literacy Trust, 2022). Beyond its’ merits as a literacy programme, the Big Salford Summer Read is supported by a comprehensive event programme, which integrates educational and socialising opportunities, boosting inter-related skills.

“Use books rather than screen time because what children need to develop is language, and reading is knowledge of the world,” (Prof Iram Siraj, DfE, 2022)

Benefits for children of reading for pleasure:

  • Increases attainment Students with more positive attitudes towards reading are more likely to read at or above the expected level for their ages. There is a strong association between the amount of reading for pleasure students say they do and their reading achievement (Clark, 2014). Students who read for pleasure make significantly more progress in vocabulary, spelling and maths than children who read very little (Sullivan and Brown, 2013)
  • Improves wellbeing Reading for pleasure has many non-literacy benefits and can increase empathy, improve relationships with others, reduce the symptoms of depression and improve wellbeing throughout life (The Reading Agency, 2015)
  • Enhances social-emotional skills Reading for pleasure has additional social benefits, and can make children feel more connected to the wider community. Reading increases a children’s understanding of their own identity, improves empathy and gives them an insight into the world view of others (The Reading Agency, 2015)
  • Helps create a life-long interest in reading Teachers who encourage students to read books of their choice for pleasure is a major contribution towards students developing a positive attitude towards reading and a life-long interest in reading (International Reading Association, 2014). 76% of adults say that reading improves their life, and the same number says it helps to make them feel good (Booktrust, 2013)

Salford Loves Reading

To celebrate our love of reading we have arranged for the installation of BookBench sculptures between June and September outside Eccles and Swinton libraries as part of the Festival of Libraries (insert link). Each BookBench has been decorated by a local artist in consultation with local primary school children, and provides an unique opportunity to spend time discovering the magic of reading – it’s also an unique photo opportunity! We have 14 more local libraries to choose from, all conveniently located at the heart of local communities (insert link to library location page).