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Libraries big launch for The Big Friendly Read

Published Thursday, 16th June 2016

The Big Friendly Read, Summer Reading Challenge 2016 launches in Worcestershire on Saturday 25 June.

All children aged 4 – 12 years are invited to sign up to the challenge at their local library from 25 June and at a special launch event at National Trust Croome near Pershore on 25 June from 10am to 5pm. 

At the Croome event children can meet guest author Tom Palmer and take part in a range of activities including: storytelling, theatre performances from Croome Encounters and Unfold Dance Theatre Company, interactive Roald Dahl workshops and performances by Worcestershire Young Voices. 

Sponsored by The Reading Agency, the aim of the challenge is to keep children reading through the long summer holiday.  By visiting libraries children can choose from thousands of books – or can download an e-book from the libraries website. Stacks of activities will take place in libraries over the holidays and there are stickers and medals to earn along the way as children read their six books, so get involved – it's free!

Each year there is a new theme, this year celebrating 100 years of the world’s greatest storyteller, Roald Dahl. 

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for localism and communities said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with National Trust Croome again this year.  These joint events are hugely successful encouraging children to sign up in the first instance and then really giving them the motivation to complete the challenge.  Plans for this year are bigger than ever.  It is a great scheme and I really would encourage all parents to get their children involved".

Rachel Sharpe, Creative Partnerships Manager,  National Trust Croome said: "The Summer Reading Challenge is one of the highlights of our year here at Croome, it’s wonderful to see this beautiful landscape full of children and families having a wonderful time.  As the site of ‘Capability’ Brown’s first ever commission Croome’s own history is formed on ‘new talent’, so it’s wonderful that in 2016 his tercentenary, Croome continues to be a place of inspiration for all". 

After the launch two more fun filled days are planned at National Trust Croome on 27 July with author Alan Gibbons and 24 August with author Jonathan Emmett.  The challenge ends on 24 September 2016.

Family entry to National Trust Croome is free on all three dates as long as you are a library member and sign up on the day or are already taking part in the challenge. If you are a National Trust member don't forget your membership card!

There are lots of interesting and fun volunteering opportunities for 12 – 24 year olds.  For more information about volunteering and the Summer Reading Challenge visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/librariesandlearning and www.bigfriendlyread.org.uk or ask at your local library.