Andover Events FamilyLife Local News

Reading Together Day – 16 July 2020

Andover library in the Chantry centre is now open, and is part of the Reading together day, which takes place on Thursday 16th June 2020.

Publisher HarperCollins and national charity The Reading Agency have teamed up to provide free e-books to libraries, books and activity packs to families who need them most, in support of the Summer Reading Challenge

  • 260,000 books distributed for the Summer Reading Challenge 2020
  • Free e-book initiative for libraries
  • 500,000 Summer Reading Challenge packs gifted

HarperCollins is supporting The Reading Agency’s drive to reach as many children as possible this summer, by working with them on a major digital aspect of the Summer Reading Challenge, and ensuring those who cannot access digital platforms still have the opportunity to benefit from the proven power of reading this summer.

The Reading Agency’s charitable mission is to enable everyone to read their way to a better life – irrespective of age or economic background. Reading can tackle life’s big challenges, from social mobility to mental health – and The Reading Agency are determined that no one is left behind.

This summer the focus is on families — and knowing that not all households can access digital platforms, The Reading Agency and Collins will be donating over 260,000 books and Summer Reading Challenge activity packs, to be distributed nationwide by Arts Council England as part of their Let’s Create packs, made possible thanks to National Lottery players. Arts Council England have worked with Bridge organisations to connect with food banks, community hubs and charities across the country to support children and young people most in need at this time. A further 240,000 Summer Reading Challenge packs will also be sent out to other organisations such as the Variety Children’s Hospital at King’s College Hospital, Give A Book and Civic, who will help distribute them to families who need them the most. Every pack will also include a bookmark, courtesy of Summer Reading Challenge Home Zone sponsor, Hedrin. Public libraries, that would ordinarily distribute the activity packs, will continue to provide them where possible.

The Summer Reading Challenge, run by The Reading Agency and delivered nationally through partnership with public libraries, launched this year on a new digital platform in response to social distancing measures due to COVID-19. To support the libraries’ digital offering, HarperCollins will also be providing them with over fifty children’s titles, to loan via their e-book lending schemes for free, with no limit to the number of times the books can be loaned during July and August. The initiative will offer the opportunity for more children to try reading digitally at a time when many libraries are still closed, while helping to raise awareness of the various digital offerings available to families from libraries. Authors whose titles feature on the list include Michael Morpurgo, David Walliams, Derek Landy, Lauren Child, and Summer Reading Challenge ambassadors David Baddiel and Ben Fogle, amongst many others, with some Collins illustrated non-fiction titles from the Big Cat and National Geographic series.

The annual Summer Reading Challenge aims to motivate 4 – 11 year olds to read six (or more) books of their choice during the summer holidays, with collectable incentives and rewards, plus a certificate for every child who completes the Challenge.

“The Summer Reading Challenge is one of our favourite events in the year – it’s fun, engaging and achievable and has helped countless kids experience the wonder of books. HarperCollins is always delighted to support the Challenge, but this year when so many children have not been able to read at school or in libraries it is more important than ever. So we are donating digital books, at no cost to libraries, so that children can access books throughout the summer through the library e-lending scheme. We are also delighted that, through our donation of 260,000 books, kids that are not able to access digital books can also participate in the Summer Reading Challenge.” – Fiona Allen, Communications Director, HarperCollins.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be working with HarperCollins on this wonderful initiative as part of the Summer Reading Challenge. Our goal at The Reading Agency has always been to help spread the joy of reading to those who need it most, and a major aspect of the Challenge is to work to ensure access to reading materials for all children and families who want to take part. In this challenging time, when libraries are still navigating social distancing measures, it’s more important than ever that we work to ensure accessibility for all – and the generosity of HarperCollins, with both their physical books and e-books, is helping us to achieve that mission.” – Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency.