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Information for Families
Here you can find information about how your child can take part in the Summer Reading Challenge and about using this website.
The Summer Reading Challenge website is free to access and a place for children to rate and review the books they are reading as they progress towards their reading goal.
The website features video content, games, quizzes and digital and downloadable activities to incentivise and encourage children to take part in the Challenge at home.
Visit your local library website to access children’s reading materials and resources including eBooks, audiobooks and comics completely free of charge.
Find out more about the 2020 Challenge on our About page.
Why is reading for pleasure important?
- Currently, 1 in 5 children in England cannot read well by the age of 11. We know that reading for fun improves literacy.
- Reading for pleasure is more important to children’s academic success than their parents’ level of education or socio-economic status.
- Embedding a love of reading in children can help their wellbeing later in life. 19% of adult readers say that reading stops them feeling lonely.
- Studies have found that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of empathy, greater self-esteem and are better able to cope with difficult situations.
The Summer Reading Challenge offers children and families a fun framework for reading for pleasure and celebrating reading together.
Explore more reading facts here
If your child already has a Summer Reading Challenge account, they can sign in using the Log in option at the top of the page. Any books that have been rated and reviewed, and any badges that have been unlocked in previous years and Challenges will still be accessible via their profile page.
New users of the Summer Reading Challenge website need to complete a two-part process to get signed up:
Children can start the registration process by choosing the Join button, and entering a few details including their date of birth and a contact email for a parent or carer.
As a parent/carer, we require you to sign up for your own Reading Agency website account. This is so we can confirm your child has permission to join the Summer Reading Challenge website, and so you can then manage any personal information we have collected on their behalf.
You may already have a Reading Agency account, from one of our other programmes such as World Book Night or Reading Groups for Everyone. If you do, have these log in details handy to complete the rest of the process.
If you do not already have a Reading Agency account, you can sign up for one here.
Please ensure you enter your own date of birth. If you sign up as a child (under 16), you won’t be able to continue with the confirmation process.
Once you have created your own account, you can follow the steps detailed in the email we send you when your child completes Part 1. Click the link at the bottom of the email, enter your own account details to sign in, then confirm your child has permission to create an account.
Once this step is complete, the registration is done! Your child’s account will be live in our system, and they will be able to sign in to the Summer Reading Challenge website to set a personal summer reading goal.
Website screen names
When your child joins the Summer Reading Challenge website they select a Silly Squad screen name as part of the on-boarding process (for example, “Professor Iggy Wellington”).
This screen name will be displayed at the top of the page when they sign in and will appear against any content they post to the website.
Children can choose their own username and password when completing the registration form for the website and these details will allow them to sign in. The screen name is then chosen using the Silly Squad name generator and helps protect the identity of children who may enter their real name as their username.
If the date of birth your child has registered with indicates they are an adult, their screen name will automatically display as Anonymous.
How we use your information
The email address we collect when a new account is created is never passed on to third parties other than third party partners in the provision of the services in question or with explicit consent. We use this email address to enable children who have forgotten their username and/or password to access the site again. For children who enter a competition, we will use it to let them know if they have won a prize.
The Book Sorter provides reading recommendations based on books other children have enjoyed. All the books have been recommended, rated and reviewed by children using this website. We ask children to submit a date of birth when they register so that Book Sorter recommendations can be tailored for different age groups.
Children have the option of posting messages to the Chat page to tell us how they’re getting on with the Summer Reading Challenge and share the books they are enjoying with other readers. All messages sent through Chat go directly to our moderation team, and nothing is displayed on the site that breaks the rules of our strict code of conduct.
Children cannot message each other independently – they can only post messages to the Chat page.
We never use children’s real names or allow messages with real names to be posted on our site. Similarly any personal information such as addresses and phone numbers are never displayed. Messages containing any personal information will be blocked by our moderators.
Find out what is happening throughout the summer and in other parts of the country
Make space for reading this summer
The Summer Reading Challenge is a great time to share and talk about books as a family and to celebrate your child’s reading achievements. Sitting down with your own book, newspaper or magazine sets a good example to kids – they will copy you – and reading a book together can really encourage a love of stories.
Discover adult reading lists and book reviews on The Reading Agency’s Find a book page.
Top tips for reading together
We hosted a webinar with Parentkind on ‘Reading as a Family’, where an expert panel discussed the importance of families to children’s reading, and practical tips on motivating children to read.
Download our conversation starter cards to inspire your young readers to talk about their books and write reviews
Take a look at the Silly Squad book collection to find recommendations from children, librarians and reader development experts
Comic books and graphic novels
As well as being fun, comic books, graphic novels and illustrated books can help young readers to improve their reading comprehension, stamina and imagination.
Find out more about the benefits of comics and graphic novels in our brief introduction here, complete with links to suggested websites and resources.
Chatterbooks reading clubs help children build a lifelong reading habit.
Try the Tricks and Jokes activity pack or the Wonderful Non-Fiction activity pack, both inspired by the Silly Squad. You’ll find great suggestions for funny books to explore and read together, with activities suitable for enjoying at home too.
Find out more about Chatterbooks here.
Reading Friends brings people together to read, share stories, meet new friends and have fun. Our Reading Friends programme has been co-created with older people to tackle loneliness using reading to start conversations and connect people socially.
This pack provides activities for all the family to chat about together, from grandparents to grandchildren.
This Silly Squad session plan provides Reading Friends groups with ideas to get people chatting.
Find out more about Reading Friends here.
Arts Award Discover at Home
If you are feeling creative and want to celebrate reading and creativity, Arts Award have a free resource pack to support families to learn, read and be creative together. Discover at Home is a special version of Arts Award Discover, the first level of Arts Award.
Find out more and download your pack here.
Back to school after lockdown
As schools reopen in phases across the UK, we thought we’d share MyTutor’s interview with NHS Senior Clinical Psychologist, Dr Shreena Ghelani, on what parents need to know to get their kids ready to return to school under the new normal.
Dr. Ghelani shares advice on preparing in advance for school reopening, managing worry and anxiety, how to speak to children about the impact of Coronavirus, and links to further important resources.
Reading Well for children
Reading Well for children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. Books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families.
The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.
Young Adult Reading Recommendations
If you’re a fan of YA lit or are looking for books to engage young people, check out our latest YA reading recommendations, all chosen by young adults.
See their suggestions on the Reading Hack blog.
Punching the Air
Reading groups can pitch to receive 10 copies of Punching the Air, a moving and deeply profound story from best-selling award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam. Find out more about the book and this free reading group offer here.
For general questions about the Summer Reading Challenge and using this website, visit the Summer Reading Challenge website help page
At The Reading Agency we help people of all ages tackle life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading.
Find out more about our work here.
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Helping more children take part
It costs £1 for The Reading Agency to provide the Summer Reading Challenge free of charge to each child.
If your child enjoys taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, then please help us bring the joy of reading and the fun of the Challenge to even more children. Please donate £3 to help us reach another three children or whatever you feel you can to help share the power and fun of reading,
If you would like to make a larger gift, legacy pledge or can support our fundraising in any way, please email Rebecca.Kendall@readingagency.org.uk.
The Reading Agency receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission.
Customer care 08448479800. Charity No 1085443.