Children’s love for libraries is exploding this summer


More than 2,400 children have joined the Summer Reading Challenge, supported by Portsmouth City Council Libraries. The challenge encourages children to explore all forms of literature.

This year, kids can set their own reading goals for the challenge, with the recommended goal being six books. The children simply have to borrow and read the books from their library during the summer holidays, from July 9 to September 18. The challenge recognizes reading in all its forms, including books of all sizes, graphic novels, poetry, picture books and audiobooks, all of which can be borrowed from local city libraries.

The theme for this year’s reading challenge is Gadgets, designed to help children experience the world of science and innovation in their daily lives, including baking, music and technology.

All children who complete the challenge will be invited to an awards ceremony at Southsea Castle on September 18, where they will receive an eco-friendly wooden medal and have a fun day with entertainment.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member of the Council for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, said: ‘The Summer Reading Challenge is a wonderful initiative and a fun, free activity for children throughout the year. summer. We can’t wait to see what books they’ll enjoy over the next few weeks.

The Challenge is available at all Portsmouth libraries. There are also a range of other events held at Portsmouth Central Library over the summer for the enjoyment of children and adults. Families can participate in HAF Fun Pompey’s creative writing and craft workshops, storytelling, and Stomp for Stamps.

The multitude of activities are part of Portsmouth’s 2040 vision of lifelong learning and a healthy and happy city.

Cllr Pitt also commented: “I am so proud of all the activities offered to children in the city this summer. We are committed to encouraging our young people to develop their love of learning, their talents and their abilities, to empower them and to enrich their lives.

HAF Fun Pompey (Holiday Activities and Catering) works with the Central Library to provide activities for the whole family, as well as a hot meal. If a child is entitled to free school meals, the whole family attends and receives a meal for FREE. There are also paid spaces, which cost £6.50 per person. Children will participate in textile crafts, enjoy storytelling and creative writing sessions as well as theater workshops.

These activity days will take place from 10am to 2pm on 9, 16, 18 and 23 August and can be booked in advance by emailing [email protected]

Stomp for Stamps revolves around Pompey’s monsters. They will encourage children to explore the mapped areas, guided by a map book, which can be picked up from any library in Portsmouth.

Children must walk, bike or scooter to complete at least three of the routes, each led by a different Pompey monster and their animal or insect friends, and can be found on poles, railings or benches. Kids will stop to capture the creatures and take a colorful rub of their textured surface back to a library, in exchange for a sticker.

Once kids have at least three stickers for their book, they can collect a Pompey Monster prize from the library. This year’s prize is a 100% recyclable Pompey Monster Cotton drawstring bag.

For more information on Stomp for Stamps or The Summer Reading Challenge, visit and click on libraries, or talk to your local librarian. To book HAF events visit or email [email protected]


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