Be a summer star and start a Reading Challenge at your local Laois Library

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

Be a summer star and start a Reading Challenge at your local Laois Library

Summer Stars Reading Challenge launch in Portlaoise Library. Picture: Denis Byrne

Children right around Laois are being urged to sign up for the annual Summer Stars Reading Challenge.

Organised by Laois County Library Service the annual Summer Reading Challenge, aimed at children 12 and under and their families, is simple, fun and free. Last year 1,300 children took part.

Children are encouraged to read eight or more library books of their choice during the summer holidays. They will receive their own Summer Stars Reading Card to record their progress and the Summer Stars Reward Stamp will be added to their card at the library for each book read.

Fun rewards including a drawstring bag, a bookmark and a Summer Stars pencil will be provided along the way. Those who finish the challenge will be presented with their medal in their local library. Registration for Summer Stars is now open.

For those who think they can read more than 8 books, the Super Stars Challenge asks them to read another 8 books or 16 altogether. These star readers will then be entered in two draws. The first draw in the local library will be for a Summer Stars backpack. The second draw is county wide and the prize will be a beautiful bicycle.

An additional element to the challenge is the ‘Golden ticket’ Family Reading Challenge. The family reading challenge encourages adults and children of all ages to read together and enter a draw for a family ticket to Tayto Park. Libraries have even designated special ‘Family Reading Times’ when families may choose to do that reading in the library.

There are also a host of other free children’s events to be found in the libraries this summer including everything from creative writing or starting a journal to the Harry Potter events.

There are all kind of crafts and storytelling and even Lego, code breaking and slime-making in some libraries. Details are available on www.laoislibraries.ie.

Parents and carers love the challenge, not only is it free but they can see the difference it makes to their children’s reading.
On days you can’t get to the library, there are still games, advice and a facility to review your favourite book on the challenge website www.summerstars.ie.

There are also ebooks, e-audiobooks and e-magazines through the library website www.laoislibraries.ie.

Author Helena Duggan visited Portlaoise library for the official launch of the Summer Stars in Laois.

Helena gave tips to children at the launch.

Cathaoirleach Willie Aird launched Summer Stars and told children he could still remember books read when he was growing up. He urged classes from Scoil Bhríde to avail of the veritable treasure trove in the library.

HELPFUL HINTS
Here are some ideas for parents to help children to finish the challenge.

- Visit the library often as you can. There are all kinds of fun events.

- Read yourself! Sit down with a book, newspaper or magazine. It also sets a good example!

- Let children choose their own books. If they don’t like a book, just move on to the next one,

- Children don’t just have to read stories or novels. Fact books, audio books, poetry – they all count!