Summer Reading Challenge Launch 2023


Awen Cultural Trust will launch the 2023 Summer Reading Challenge and their summer programme of library activities with a fun-filled, family event at Newbridge Fields in Bridgend on Saturday 8th July from 12pm to 3pm. The event is supported by Bridgend County Borough Council, Valleys to Coast, Arts and Business Cymru and Halo Leisure.

‘Fun in the Park’ will include inflatables from Full of Bounce, performances by Dance Crazy, giant games, balance bikes with Halo, crafts and sports day races with Valleys to Coast and story times with Awen Libraries. Bridge FM will be broadcasting live from the event. All activities are provided free of charge.

The aim of the Summer Reading Challenge, which has been run by the Reading Agency in partnership with public libraries since 1999, is to encourage children to read at least six library books over the summer holiday, in order to prevent the ‘dip’ in literacy levels while the schools are closed.

This year, it is hoped that the theme of ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ will not just inspire young people to enjoy the benefits of reading for pleasure, but also those associated with sport, play and physical activity.

To encourage this across the Bridgend area, children who register at Fun in the Park or any of Awen’s libraries will receive 25% off selected Halo activities including family swim sessions, JumpInGym indoor soft play, bouncy castle/soft play sessions, family racket sports and café purchases.

Following the launch, libraries across Bridgend will run a programme of events including AfroSheep Animation, YouTube, Dance Crazy and Zack Franks Movement and Dance workshops. All dates and venues are available on the Awen Libraries website ( and social media.

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, said:

“Developing and retaining children’s literacy remains a key priority for us and the Summer Reading Challenge offers a fantastic opportunity to keep our young library members engaged with books in a fun and creative way. We also know that the summer holidays can be an expensive time for families looking for ways to keep their children entertained so, thanks to the kind support of our partner organisations and funders, our library activities are frequent and free.”

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing, Councillor Neelo Farr, said:

“By encouraging children to take part in the annual summer reading challenge, they not only have fun and keep busy during the long summer break. They also keep on top of their reading progress, to ensure they return to school in September as more fluent, confident, and happy readers. We’d encourage as many children as possible to take part and see if you can hit that target of six books in six weeks!”

Cathy Fletcher, Head of Marketing and Communications for Halo Leisure, added:

“Words and workouts go hand in hand and we are delighted to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. You can find libraries located in Halo centres in Bridgend, Ogmore, Garw and Maesteg.

“The theme of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge shines a spotlight on the importance of physical activity, and by taking part in the challenge, families can not only discover the joy of words but also enjoy a remarkable 25% discount on selected, family fun physical activities at our centres as well.”

Laura Morris, Head of Communications and Engagement for Valleys to Coast, said:

“As a housing association that puts our customers and communities at the heart of everything we do, we’re delighted to support our partners to provide free educational and active entertainment at an expensive time for local families. We look forward to seeing how many children get involved with the 2023 Summer Reading Challenge and hearing their own summer stories.”

For further information, please contact Toni Cosson, Head of Marketing and Communications, on 07718 645685 or email

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