Nick Gibb MP attended the Summer Reading Challenge Drop-in Reception in Parliament to show his support for children’s reading and to discuss the scheme he is running in the constituency to encourage children to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge.
Nick launched his campaign, ‘Read to Succeed’ at River Beach Primary School in Littlehampton earlier this year. Under the scheme, every year 4 child in the constituency will receive a free book to enjoy and keep with the aim of inspiring a young generation of readers.
The reading challenge for Year 4 pupils across Bognor Regis and Littlehampton was inspired by Nick’s Parliamentary colleague, Steve Barclay MP, who ran a similar initiative in Cambridgeshire.
Nick is inviting local businesses and the wider community to make donations of books so that every year 4 pupil in his constituency receives a book to enjoy. Year 4 was chosen because it is the age (8-9 years old) when many children start to read independently.
Each book will include a token for the child to take to their local library to sign up for the library’s Summer Reading Challenge, which runs across the country. Participants in the scheme will be have the chance to win exciting prizes for themselves and their classmates.
There have already been generous donations of books and prizes from local businesses including Ash Smart of Harbour Park, Keith Stocker of Parker PpTek, Dr John Mason from the South Downs Planetarium, Barfoots of Botley and the Earl of March. To donate, people can order books directly from the Waterstones wishlist or purchase them and deliver them straight to the constituency office.
Mr Gibb said, “Learning to read independently is one of the most important things a child can do to set them up for later life. I am launching Read to Succeed across Bognor Regis and Littlehampton to help further improve the reading fluency of local children over the summer holidays. Schools do a wonderful job reading with children in class but it is important that children keep this up over the long summer break.
“Here in West Sussex, we have an excellent library service and one of the highest participation numbers of the library Summer Reading Challenge in the country. I am very pleased to be working in participation with Russell Allen, Team Manager of Children’s Services at West Sussex Country Council, on this new scheme to encourage children to read at home.”