Youngsters will be looking for interesting alternatives to watching hours of Olympic sport during the holidays and Swindon Libraries are launching Story Lab to help them discover fascinating books.
Yet there is a sporting element to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge™ and it is simple to do. Children who join the scheme at their local library are given a three dimensional card and incentives to aim for as they read, with a certificate and medal for those that successfully complete the challenge of reading six books by 8 September.
Last year children read 10,408 books through the summer as part of the challenge. Giving it an Olympic twist, organisers are setting Swindon children the target of reading 12,000 books. Progress will be updated via the library Twitter feed and a totaliser on the Swindon Summer Reading Challenge web page.
Throughout the summer there will be several stage incentives, such as taking part in a story trail at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, and receiving vouchers for pitch and putt, crazy golf or ice-skating at Link Centre.
During the challenge library staff and volunteers will be on hand to help children win medals for reading, and an interactive Story Lab website links children with top authors and illustrators whilst giving them room to talk about their favourite books and share reading ideas.
Story Lab explodes into action at North Swindon Library on Saturday 21 July, 10.30am, with a storytelling extravaganza with Neil Griffiths. See more at the Swindon Libraries website
Combining sport and literacy
Red Oaks Primary School celebrated their very own Flame Day on 23 May when the Olympic torch made its historic visit to Swindon, with children’s author Neil Griffiths who opened the refurbished library and launched his new book Animal Antics.
Illustrated by Janette Loudon, Neil’s latest work imagines what happens when the World Sports’ Week committee can find no reason in the rules to exclude members of the animal kingdom from the competition.
Through fabulous illustrations of every type of animal from armadillo to zebra, Neil tells an amazing story of animal antics including every sporting competition at London 2012 along the way. Readers can join in the mayhem and hang out with baboons, wrestle with bears, sail with skate, sprint with cheetahs and swim with sharks in this Olympian tale of animal adventure.
Neil spent the whole day at Red Oaks enacting Animal Antics to over 500 children. He had them running and jumping on the spot, taking aim, swimming and prancing like horses.
Year 1 teacher Rachel Hogan said: “Neil was incredible, the children were in awe of him. They loved being so involved in his story telling skills.”
Animal Antics can be purchased via www.redrobinbooks.com
Neil Griffiths at Red Oaks put children and teachers through some Animal Antics