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Join the Silly Squad for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge!

Families across the county borough of Bridgend are encouraged to join the Silly Squad for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The initiative, which runs until September, is the biggest ‘reading for pleasure’ programme in the UK, and is delivered by the Reading Agency, in partnership with local library services.

It aims to encourage children between the ages of four and 11 to read six of more books from the library during the summer holidays.

This year, the Summer Reading Challenge has moved online, as most libraries remain closed for book browsing and events, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Children can register on the Silly Squad website, where they are can create a personal profile, set reading goals, record achievements and view book recommendations.

As the theme aims to celebrate funny books and laughter, there are lots of Silly Squad activities, games and rewards to encourage children to read whatever makes them happy.

Each child can choose the target number of books they want to read, and these can be digital books, library books ordered through the ‘book and collect’ services, or their own books at home.

The first 80 children to collect books they have ordered from Aberkenfig, Maesteg, Pencoed or Pyle libraries will also receive a free goody bag, kindly provided by Aspire 2Be.

Parents can download the BorrowBox and RBdigital apps, which allow users to access eBooks for free using their library card. Non-members can join by registering online at www.awen-libraries.com.

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, the registered charity which runs the library service on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council, said:

“Almost 2,500 children visited our libraries to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge last year, with a 71% completion rate, one of the highest in Wales. The Challenge is a great way to motivate children to read more over the summer holidays, particularly during the current coronavirus pandemic, to improve literacy skills, boost their knowledge and fuel their imaginations. I would urge all families to sign up for free, and make use of the fantastic ‘Silly Squad’ resources available online and through our own Awen Libraries social media platforms.”