18 June 2021 Share
The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge, in partnership with WWF, has announced that teenage naturalist, award-winning writer and broadcaster Dara McAnulty and award-winning explorer, presenter, and writer Steve Backshall, are ambassadors for the Summer Reading Challenge 2021.
The Summer Reading Challenge, delivered in partnership with public libraries, encourages reading for pleasure for children aged 4 to 11 over the summer holidays. The Challenge launched in Scotland and Northern Ireland on 19th June, and will launch on 10th July in England and Wales. Teaming up with WWF for 2021, this year’s theme is Wild World Heroes which inspires children to explore ways of helping to save the planet. The annual Challenge reaches over 700,000 children across the UK each year. The Reading Agency are aiming to increase its impact even further this year by reaching 1 million children with its new digital platform providing accessible, fun reading activities for all children.
With ideas from WWF, the Challenge focuses on action for nature and tackling real-world environmental issues, from plastic pollution and deforestation to wildlife decline and nature loss. Through taking part in the Challenge, with free packs from public libraries or online, children will be able to join six fictional characters - 'wild heroes' - to help solve some of these threats, learning about the importance of the environment while helping to restore nature levels in the neighbourhood of 'Wilderville'.
A ‘Welcome to Wilderville: Meet the Heroes’ digital campaign will run over summer with a different weekly habitat theme, led by the Wild World Heroes, including Woodland, River, Farm, Town, Home/School and the Beach. The characters and landscape are illustrated by award-winning children's author and illustrator Heath McKenzie.
Over the summer term, WWF will be offering opportunities and resources for UK public libraries and primary schools to engage with the nature theme in the Summer Reading Challenge and to explore some of the most important issues of our time through the power of reading. WWF will also be running school seminars and live lessons, with further details to be confirmed over June and July, and updates posted on their dedicated Summer Reading Challenge webpage.
A range of partners are also supporting the Challenge this year. Sky VIP are teaming up with The Reading Agency to offer thousands of VIP customers the chance to win a copy of Shark Seas by Sky presenter and Summer Reading Challenge Ambassador Steve Backshall. Customers will be invited to start their Summer Reading Challenge journey with Steve's book at participating libraries nationwide - and can head to the My Sky app to find out more. The Challenge is also being supported by Pearson (sponsoring the digital platform’s School Zone) and Overdrive Education (sponsoring the digital platform’s Home Zone).
For more information and to read the full press release from The Reading Agency, click here.