2022 Summer Reading Challenge Theme Announced
By Megan Whitlock
The Reading Agency, a charitable organisation that delivers programmes across the UK to encourage and promote the benefits of reading, have announced their theme for the 2022 Summer Reading Challenge: Gadgeteers. The reading challenge has been running since 1999 and aims to encourage children to read during the summer holidays, supporting literacy skills and confidence throughout the school break reading "dip." Run in partnership with schools and public libraries across the country, the challenge reaches around 700,000 children annually and particularly focuses on those aged 7–11.
After partnering with the WWF for last year’s theme, Wild World Heroes, this year, the Agency has partnered with the Science Museum Group. The Science Museum Group, covering science museums in London, Manchester, Bradford and York, will provide resources and activities to run alongside the challenge designed to encourage curiosity about the world. According to The Reading Agency’s website, children will be able to join six fictional "gadgeteer" characters created by the children’s writer and illustrator, Julian Beresford, and will be provided with free packs from public libraries and the children’s website. The "gadgeteers" will explore a range of science behind topics such as fashion, technology, cooking and music, all with the aim of sparking children’s curiosity and “showing that reading and science are for everyone” (The Reading Agency).
The Summer Reading Challenge will launch in Northern Ireland and Scotland on 25 June, followed by England and Wales on 9 July. On the website, children can create a profile, select an avatar, and access book recommendations, challenges, games and competitions. The site also contains a school zone, which provides activities and ideas for the classroom; a library zone, where you can find out more about the libraries near you taking part and how to get involved; and a home zone, which will be “full of useful Challenge information for parents, grandparents and carers.”
Susan Raikes, the Director of Learning at the Science Museum Group, is quoted on The Ready Agency website as saying: “At the Science Museum Group, we are delighted that our partnership with The Reading Agency will allow us to reach more future creative thinkers and inspire them with the everyday wonders of imagination and discovery.”