Ready, Set, Read! Unlocking the Power of Play and Imagination this Summer

Summer is here, and with it comes the perfect opportunity to embark on a reading adventure that will captivate the minds of young readers in Rotherham. The ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ Summer Reading Challenge, organized by Rotherham Libraries and Neighbourhood Hubs, is set to ignite the imaginations of children aged 4-11. This year, the challenge takes on a theme centered around the power of play, sport, games, and physical activity, providing an exciting avenue for children to explore the joys of reading while staying active.

The Summer Reading Challenge aims to keep young minds engaged and their bodies active throughout the summer break. By participating, children not only get the chance to join a superstar team but also interact with the challenge’s marvellous mascots, who will accompany them on their literary journey. The initiative encourages children to set personal reading goals for the summer and dive into books, whether they prefer traditional copies, eBooks, or even audiobooks.

To kick-start their participation, children can visit their local library to sign up for free and receive their very own Ready, Set, Read! pack. Each time they finish a book, they can collect special incentives from the library, providing a tangible reward for their reading achievements. Moreover, children will have the opportunity to receive a certificate for their participation or even for reaching their Challenge goal, acknowledging their dedication and love for reading.

For those who prefer digital engagement, an online platform is available at, offering a virtual space to participate in the challenge. This inclusive approach ensures that children can join the reading adventure regardless of their preferred reading medium.

The culmination of the Summer Reading Challenge will be a grand Celebration Ceremony held at the Magna Science and Adventure Centre on Sunday, October 1, 2023. Children who complete the challenge will be granted free admission to this magnificent venue, where they can explore the wonders of Science and Technology across four pavilions: Air, Earth, Fire & Water! With over 100 interactive exhibits designed to facilitate learning through investigation and play, the Celebration Ceremony promises to be an unforgettable experience for young readers.

To keep everyone informed about the exciting activities planned for the Celebration Ceremony, the Council will provide regular updates on social media in the lead-up to the event. This ensures that families can plan ahead and make the most of this extraordinary occasion.

Cllr David Sheppard, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, expressed his enthusiasm for the Summer Reading Challenge, highlighting the importance of reading and the range of activities offered at local libraries during the holiday season. As an advocate for the joys of reading, Cllr Sheppard emphasized the positive impact the Challenge has had on previous participants and expressed his hopes for even greater engagement this year.

Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, shared her delight in witnessing the nationwide efforts by library partners to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. With a shared goal of getting children reading, imagining, and staying active, The Reading Agency looks forward to working closely with libraries across the country to make this summer a truly transformative experience for young readers.

Through the Summer Reading Challenge, children will not only embark on thrilling literary adventures but also have the opportunity to explore new reading material, develop essential skills, and discover new interests. Since its inception in 1999, the Summer Reading Challenge has played a pivotal role in enhancing children’s reading skills and confidence during the summer holidays, ensuring they are well-prepared for their return to school.

Thanks to the collaboration between local libraries and the Summer Reading Challenge, this incredible opportunity is accessible to all children, providing a fun and free activity that leaves a lasting impact. In 2022, the Challenge reached an impressive 723,184 children and families across the UK, with a 31% increase in participation compared to the previous year. Moreover, the initiative facilitated 132,223 new children’s library memberships, demonstrating its ability to inspire a lifelong love for reading.

Discover the magic of the ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ Summer Reading Challenge and unlock the power of play and imagination this summer. Visit to find your local library and neighborhood and explore the exciting events taking place near you.

Editor’s Comment:

The ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ Summer Reading Challenge is an excellent initiative that encourages children to explore the power of play and physical activity through books.

The article effectively highlights the various aspects of the challenge, including signing up at local libraries, setting reading goals, and receiving incentives for completing books. The mention of the Celebration Ceremony at the Magna Science and Adventure Centre adds an exciting element to the event.

The quotes from Cllr David Sheppard and Karen Napier provide valuable insights into the importance of reading and the positive impact of the Summer Reading Challenge. Overall, the article effectively conveys the enthusiasm and benefits associated with the challenge, while also emphasizing its accessibility to all children.

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