Irish author Erika McGann came to Portlaoise last week to help Laois County Library Service launch the Summer Stars Reading Challenge 2022.
The Summer Stars is an exciting reading-based programme which is available free of charge to children across the country through their local library.
The challenge was officially launched by County Librarian Bernie Foran. She explained to students of fifth class in The Holy Family school, that Laois County Council was delighted to fund the library service and programmes like Summer Stars because they recognise the importance of reading both to people’s immediate enjoyment and quality of life as well as their education and future.
Ms Foran also pleaded with parents to never give out to children for time spent reading.
"We want everyone reading!’ as she reminded parents that was a gift for life and free with the library service.
Erika McGann read from her book ‘The Demon Notebook’ and talked to students about how your reading stays with you throughout your life. The class talked about the kind of books they enjoy reading and Erika explained how her reading as a young person inspired the books that she writes today.
Summer Stars will run during the summer in public libraries all over Ireland. Children are invited to register for the challenge from 13th June and enjoy reading lots of super books. As part of the programme children are asked to read eight books before 31st August. They may be any type of book but must be borrowed from the library. MORE BELOW PICTURE.
Participants will be given a Summer Stars Bag when they register and a Summer Stars Reading Card to be record and track their own progress. This should be stamped at the library when each book is finished and returned. Those who read four books will earn a Summer Stars Bookmark and if participants read eight books they receive a Summer Stars Pencil. Every student who reads even one book will receive a certificate and if they read all eight they will receive a medal. All students who complete the challenge will also go into a draw in their local library for a great hamper.
If children have read eight books before the end of the summer they may join in the Super Stars Challenge. If participants read eight additional books (16 books in total) they are entered in a countywide draw. The winner of the will receive a beautiful bicycle which was kindly donated by Halfords, Portlaoise.
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. MORE BELOW PICTURE.
There is also a full programme of free children’s events to be found in the libraries across Laois From crafts to coding and Fancy Dress to chess. If you prefer to be outdoors, check out our Story Stroll and Town Trails. Brochures are being distributed to all schools and details are available on www.laoislibraries.ie.
Everyone is invited to check out the Summer Stars www.laoislibraries.ie or the national website at www.summerstars.ie which has lots of online games and activities as well as a range of animated ebooks. You will find a children’s books discussion board and interviews with well-known people about their favourite books. There are also helpful tips for reading and recommended titles by age group for children to read. MORE BELOW PICTURE
The books can then be borrowed from your local library service. And it’s all free!
You can follow Summers Stars and all the great library events on Twitter (@LaoisLibraries) and on Facebook (@LaoisLibraries), Instagram (laois_libraries), and TikTok (@laoislibrariesstaff) .
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