Reading Challenge set to return

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The Summer Reading Challenge, sponsored by Total E&P UK, is to be launched by Aberdeenshire library staff on Thursday, June 19, at Aden Country Park.

This year’s Challenge, entitled “Travel through time with a good book”, has been chosen to tie in with historical themes celebrated throughout Scotland in 2014, including the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Young people will be asked to write a story on the theme of time travel with local author Deborah Leslie writing an opening paragraph to give the young writers a starting point.

Three age groups have been created for the challenge: children aged 6 and under can draw a picture based on the same theme, and stories can be submitted by children aged between 7-9 and those over 10 years old.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee Councillor Isobel Davidson said: “Every year children of all ages enjoy taking part in the summer reading challenge which aims to promote reading, encourage progression, support curricular outcomes and involve children in cultural activity.

“The challenge goes from strength-to-strength each year and this year’s theme of time travel will no doubt produce some very inspiring work.”

A prize of a trip to Poppyscotland headquarters in Edinburgh will be presented to the winner and their classmates.

Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland, Colin Flinn, said: “Encouraging young people to learn about the origins of Remembrance is a key activity for Poppyscotland.

“We are delighted to support this initiative by offering the winning class an opportunity to visit the fascinating Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory to meet veterans and learn how poppies are made.”

Vice chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee Councillor Ron McKail said: “Children of all abilities take part and are encouraged to read over the school summer holiday period and I’m pleased to see the theme of time travel being used to tie in with historical themes this year, including the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

“The library service is thankful for the support it gets from partners Total E&P UK as well as the good relationships built up with schools which all make this initiative sustainable.”

Over 170,000 books have been read as part of the reading challenge since it started in 2002.