Kent Summer Reading Challenge 2023

11th July 2023

The Kent Summer Reading Challenge has started, providing a range of free activities for families. Children aged 4-11 are being invited to visit Kent Libraries and get involved in “Ready, Set, Read!”, which is themed around the power of play, sport, games and physical activity.

A Free Summer Activity

Through taking part in the challenge, with free materials from all Kent Libraries and online via the Challenge website, children will be encouraged to keep their minds and bodies active over the summer break. The characters – brought to life by children’s author and illustrator Loretta Schauer – navigate a fictional summer obstacle course and track their reading as they go, rewarded by free incentives including stickers.

Through activity challenge cards from the Youth Sport Trust and a themed book collection, the Summer Reading Challenge, which runs until 9 September, aims to keep imaginations moving over the school holiday.

Improving Children’s Skills & Confidence

The Summer Reading Challenge has been running since 1999 and helps to improve children’s reading skills and confidence over the summer holidays, ensuring they are ready for their return to school. With the help of local libraries, including the Tunbridge Wells Library, the Summer Reading Challenge is accessible to all and provides a fun, free activity for children.

Last year, well over 16,000 Kent youngsters took part in the challenge visiting a library in person and more than 9,000 completed it. A further 1,900 children took part online. Across the country, the Summer Reading Challenge reached 723,184 children and families across, with 608,015 children taking part through their local library service, a 31% increase compared to 2021. The Challenge also drove 132,223 new children’s library memberships which is 40% higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic total.

Mike Hill, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “Our library staff are available all year round to help children enjoy reading for pleasure, and the Summer Reading Challenge provides the opportunity to explore new reading material, develop skills, and discover new interests. They have the whole summer to tackle the challenge and we would like as many children as possible to take part.”

Karen Napier, from The Reading Agency said: “We are delighted to see how library partners across the country are organising their own events and activities to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. We are really looking forward to working closely with them to help get children reading, imagining, and staying active this summer.”

Read and Relax at The Pantiles

The historic streets of The Pantiles and our cafes and eateries provide the perfect space to relax, read and let your literary imagination flow – whatever your age! So, why not take a trip to the heart of Tunbridge Wells over the summer with your little ones and take part in the Kent Summer Reading Challenge?

More information and details of Summer Reading Challenge events for families to enjoy.

You can borrow books for free from Tunbridge Wells Library which is located at The Amelia Scott Centre.