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Children encouraged to pick up a book or two this summer
Children from across Staffordshire are being invited to join the Silly Squad as part of a new scheme to ensure they keep reading this summer. Supported by Staffordshire County Council's Libraries Service, the Summer Reading Challenge is the annual campaign to encourage children aged 4 to 11 to continue reading over the summer holidays. As a result of the coronavirus restrictions and many children having to stay at home, the campaign has been launched online and earlier than usual to help support parents and carers. Children are also being encouraged to read books they have at home, or e-books until libraries are able to fully reopen safely. The theme for 2020 is Silly Squad, a celebration of funny books, happiness and laughter, featuring bespoke artwork from award-winning children's author and illustrator, Laura Ellen Anderson. This year children can set their own target number of books to read and, as in previous years, are rewarded with a personalised downloadable certificate once they complete the challenge.
Join the Silly Squad reading challenge this summer
Gill Heath, Libraries Chief at Staffordshire County Council said: "This is a brilliant activity that we look forward to every year that helps keep children reading over the summer holidays. This year's theme is Silly Squad, but we're happy for children to read any books they like. And, with our libraries now starting to reopen following lockdown, it's a great time to get involved. We will be running an 'order and collect' service only to start with, so please order your books online or telephone 0300 1118000. Reading Together Day is also on 16 July, so we hope to get as many children signed up by then as possible." Staffordshire's 43 libraries began a phased reopening from July 6, starting with the ones at Burton-upon-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stafford. The next stage of reopening takes place on July 20 with Cannock, Leek, Lichfield, Perton and Tamworth libraries all opening to the public again, with Biddulph, Burntwood, Codsall, Kidsgrove, Rugeley, Stone, Uttoxeter and Wombourne scheduled for July 27 to complete the process.