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Prepare to go wild for this year’s summer reading challenge

Pictures show children from Shaftesbury Junior School at the Summer Reading Challenge launch event

CHILDREN and families can take part in a wild reading challenge this summer, courtesy of the Wild World Heroes.

The heroes are a bunch of specially-created cartoon characters who will be encouraging children and young people to keep reading over the summer holidays by becoming a Wild World Hero themselves – standing up for the future of the planet by joining in a celebration of reading, nature and action for the environment.

Organised by The Reading Agency and delivered by local libraries, this year’s summer reading challenge is also being backed by wildlife charity the WWF. Wild World Heroes will feature amazing books, awesome rewards, and plenty of ideas for taking care of our environment.

The challenge starts in Leicester on 26 June and you can join anytime up until 31 August, with the last day to complete it being 11 September. It’s open to children aged 0-15 years, although there is an adult challenge too – called Grown-ups Go Wild Reading.

To take part, simply drop into your local library – most reopened from Monday 21 June – and collect your Wild World Heroes pack from there. The pack includes a specially designed envelope and a ‘zine’ competition exclusive to Leicester, plus lots more information about the scheme, as well as a poster featuring a map of Wilderville, an exciting place which you can make wilder and more wonderful by collecting stickers to add to it with each book you read.

Read any six books in total to complete the challenge, then collect your finisher’s medal and certificate from your local library.

Participants can read books, e-books or listen to audio books to add up towards the challenge – they all count! It means people can join in the challenge using Leicester Libraries’ online service – or by reading physical books borrowed from your local library.

As well as the 7,000 packs available free from libraries, a further 5,000 Wild World Heroes packs will also be delivered directly to families via our partnerships with schools, food banks, adventure playgrounds, children’s centres, holiday playschemes and Leicester City of Sanctuary.

Assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services Cllr Kirk Master said: “It’s great to have the summer reading challenge back again just as our libraries start to reopen. The challenge is always very popular in Leicester and helps us to boost reading for enjoyment over the summer holidays.

“The Wild World Heroes theme is also a fantastic chance to build on the work of Leicester’s pioneering eco-schools team and helps us all to think about the small changes we can make to help our environment.”

The challenge was officially launched with an event at Shaftesbury Junior School, which featured storytelling from library staff and themed workshops delivered by the eco-schools team.

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