Butterfly and cartoon workshops part of summer book children's book challenge with a planet-friendly twist at South Tyneside's libraries

Young bookworms are being encouraged to help save the planet while indulging their passion for reading this summer.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 1:51 pm
The Mayor Cllr Pat Hay with librarian Jolene Dunbar at The Word, South Shields, launching Summer Reading Challenge - Wild World Hero's.

Children can become ‘Wild World Heroes’ over the holiday with South Tyneside’s annual Summer Reading Challenge to help keep children reading throughout the school summer holidays and beyond.

The event is organised by South Tyneside Council’s Library Service, with the Wild World Heroes theme led by the Reading Agency in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay, said: “The annual Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic fun and engaging way of supporting children to keep reading over the holidays while developing their skills and confidence and supporting reading catch-up after a difficult year.

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The Word is one of the libraries hosting the challenge.

“The Wild World Heroes theme also raises awareness and sparks discussions around the important real-world environmental issues facing our planet, from plastic pollution and deforestation to wildlife decline and nature loss.

“With children and families enjoying the great outdoors over the holidays and making the most of our beautiful parks and green spaces, there’s no better time to be reading about wildlife and the environment.

“We hope that children will be inspired by this wonderful initiative and take up the opportunity to explore ways to making a positive difference to the environment on their reading journey.”

The Summer Reading Challenge is open to children aged four to 11 and free to sign up at their nearest library.

It involves reading at least six library books of their choice and returning them all together to complete the challenge before Saturday, September 25.

As part of their reading journey, children will be encouraged to pack their bags and head to the fictional town of Wilderville, where the inhabitants are looking at what they can do to make their town a cleaner and greener place for both people and animals.

There will be rewards to collect along the way and plenty of ideas about how children can help to take care of the environment.

Everyone taking part will receive a special collector poster map of Wilderville and two sets of stickers.

Once they have completed the challenge, they will receive more stickers, a pencil and a special Wild World Heroes certificate.

Children can choose from a large selection of books, from fact or fiction, poetry or even eBooks and audiobooks.

The Summer Reading Challenge is presented by The Reading Agency and funded by Arts Council England.

It is being delivered across the council’s four libraries at The Word and Cleadon Park in South Shields, Jarrow Focus and Hebburn Central as well as in volunteer-based organisations, including Boldon and Cleadon Community Library and Perth Green Community Association.

The council has also organised a series of themed activities to support the challenge.

Children can join author and illustrator Liz Million in a funny cartoon workshop to learn how to create and draw their own wild hero character and wacky animals in sessions taking place for children aged five and over on:

Tuesday, August 3, 10.30am to 11.30am, Jarrow Focus Library;

Tuesday, August 3, 1.30am to 2.30pm, Cleadon Park Library;

Thursday, August 5, 10.30am to 11.30am, The Word;

Thursday, August 5, 1.30pm to 2.30am, Hebburn Central Library.

Youngsters can also join Big Science to make chromatography butterflies using air pressure and take part in a fun science experiment on:

Monday, August 16, 10.30 to 11.30am, The Word;

Tuesday, August 17, 1.30pm to 2.30pm, Cleadon Park Library;

Wednesday, August 18, 1.30pm to 2.30pm, Jarrow Focus Library;

Thursday, August 19, 1.30pm to 2.30pm, Hebburn Central Library

Activities cost £1 per person. Places are limited as must be booked by phone on (0191) 424 7788. A maximum of one adult per family can attend.

For further information about the Wild World Heroes Summer Reading Challenge visit the council’s website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/34375/Children-and-young-people or visit www.wildworldheroes.org.uk for games, activities, quizzes and more.

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