Local youngsters urged to join Summer Reading Challenge

Children in Wrexham are being encourage to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths, is a supporter of the annual event which aims to get children between the ages of 4 and 11 to read six books over the summer holidays.

The theme of this year’s challenge is ‘Silly Squad’ and will celebrate funny books that inspire happiness and laughter.

To help children access books, libraries are starting to relaunch their services after initially being forced to close in March at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wrexham’s libraries embarked on the first phase of reopening at the beginning of this month when the “order and collect system” was first piloted.

The new system enables people to reserve the books they want online before being allocated a specific day and time slot in which to collect their items.

To help ensure public safety, all books returned to the libraries will be quarantined for 72 hours.

Five libraries across the borough are currently operating the new scheme – Wrexham, Brynteg, Chirk, Gwersyllt and Rhos.

Lesley Griffiths MS said: “I myself am an avid reader and the summer is an ideal time to immerse yourself in a good book.”

“The Welsh Government is determined to help nurture and encourage reading and the relaunch of Wrexham’s libraries, and the order and collect system, has come at the perfect time.  It will help children taking part in this year’s Challenge discover new books, develop their reading skills and have fun.”

Libraries and other community facilities closed in March as part of the restrictions implemented to tackle coronavirus.  However, in May, the First Minister announced local authorities across Wales could start preparing to reopen.

To help support the reopening, the Welsh Government provided £250,000 towards digital library resources which enabled public libraries to provide additional resources during the crisis.  Additional funding has also been provided to libraries from the Welsh Government’s £1m Cultural Resilience Fund to help with adapting facilities to accommodate a click and collect service.