Skip to main content

Kirsty Williams will today join young people at Glynneath library to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge by launching the Big Friendly Read - a scheme to encourage reading on a giant scale.

First published:
28 July 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Libraries across Wales are celebrating 100 years of the world’s favourite storyteller Roald Dahl in the Big Friendly Read. The books of Roald Dahl, who was born in Wales, have lent the annual Summer Reading Challenge its theme for 2016. During the summer holidays there will be a packed schedule of events across libraries in Wales to help encourage children to enjoy reading.

Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams said,

“The Summer Reading Challenge has proved hugely successful in motivating children to read more over the summer holidays. Research has shown that this helps keep their reading level up before going back to school in September.

“As Roald Dahl so perfectly said, ‘if you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books’ and I would encourage parents to make the most of the time with their children this summer, dive into a book and who knows where you’ll end up.”

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for libraries, said,

“We know libraries can have a real positive impact on children’s lives, introducing them to countless new interests and helping them develop a love of reading. I’m pleased we have been able to continue our support for the Summer Reading Challenge this year, and hope it will help children across Wales get involved in adventures throughout the summer.”

Organised by The Reading Agency charity and public libraries across the UK, the annual Summer Reading Challenge is simple, fun and free to join. Children aged 4-11 are encouraged to read six or more library books of their choice during the summer holidays with collectable incentives and rewards, plus a certificate, or medal for every child who completes the challenge.

The Big Friendly Read will encourage reading on a giant scale and highlights six key themes - invention, adventure, mischief, word play, child champions and friendship - that are explored in Roald Dahl's most famous books. The scheme will encourage children to expand their own reading by exploring similar themes, fantastic facts, characters and stories across the best contemporary children's writing.

Taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge is free and is one example of what public libraries offer to help children develop a love of reading, gain confidence and get new skills. Libraries across Wales are putting on lots of exciting events and activities during the summer holidays to keep children occupied and parents stress free! Some of the fantastic events that have been organised for the Challenge include a chocolate workshop, author visits, art and craft sessions and an interactive drama and play group.

Call in to your local library or visit to find out more.