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22 June 2017

Animal theme for Summer Reading Challenge + final call for volunteers!

‘Animal Agents’ is the theme of this year’s Cumbria Libraries Summer Reading Challenge.

This national activity takes place every year during the summer holidays. Children can sign up at any library in Cumbria to take part, and then read six library books of their choice to complete the challenge. This summer there's something peculiar happening at the local library - and that's where the Animal Agents come in!

Daisy the rabbit asks children taking part in the challenge to help the Animal Agents crack the case, by collecting clues in the form of stickers.  As well as revealing the clues, each sticker sheet contains a code; the codes can be entered online at www.animal-agents.org.uk to unlock extra surprises.

Children taking part in the challenge in Cumbria will also get extra incentives as they read the books, including a certificate once the challenge is completed.

Children can sign up for the challenge from Saturday 15 July in any Cumbria library, and it runs until Saturday 9 September.  Look out for exciting activities in the libraries during the holidays, including appearances by real animals, and it’s all completely free to take part.

Cumbria Libraries are also seeking young volunteers aged 14 - 24 to help run the challenge in local libraries throughout the summer.  Last year, over 1,500 children in Cumbria engaged in reading over the long school summer holidays as part of the challenge. Volunteers can offer as much or as little time as they have available - even one day a week would be a massive help.  We would ask them to talk to children about the books they have read and assist with running a variety of fun summer activities.

Volunteers will gain lots of new skills and experience to increase their employability and add to UCAS forms.  Previous volunteers have reported increases in their confidence, social skills and literacy, as well as taking pride from making such a positive contribution to their local communities.

You don’t have to be the keenest of readers to volunteer.  Many previous volunteers have been people who struggled to engage with books at school, or don’t have many qualifications. Engaging with the challenge has helped them to read more, and as a result developed their skills, knowledge and understanding of the vital role books and learning play in the development of young people.

Further information about this volunteering opportunity, along with an application form, can be found via the council website at www.cumbria.gov.uk/libraries or packs can be picked up at any library in Cumbria.  The closing date for applications is June 30th.

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‘Animal Agents’ is the theme of this year’s Cumbria Libraries Summer Reading Challenge.