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Summer Reading Challenge for children returns to the South West

  • Date: 15 July 2013
  • Area: South West
Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge 2013

Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge 2013.

Bugs, skeletons and monsters will be taking over libraries as part of this year's Summer Reading Challenge, an exciting initiative to get children across the country reading books.

The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK's biggest annual reading promotion for four to 11 year olds, coordinated by Arts Council England National portfolio organisation The Reading Agency and the public library network. The promotion runs from 13 July to 14 September.

Children are invited to read six books during the long summer holiday, with rewards to collect along the way and a medal and certificate at the end.  This year's theme is Creepy House. Libraries across the South West have organised a programme with hundreds of different arts and cultural activities to choose from.

From haunted tours, arts and craft workshops, and monster dance performances to creepy crawley handling, storytelling and song, children will not get bored this summer.

The Summer Reading Challenge officially launched on Saturday 13 July with a special star-studded Get Reading Festival in London's Trafalgar Square. Thousands enjoyed the free festival, which was designed to whet children's bookish appetites with live performances from Horrible Histories, Barmy Britain and We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Matilda the Musical, Wicked, and Billy Elliot the Musical and appearances from Hollywood celebrities.

In the South West, children will also enjoy imaginative dance performances and events, thanks to a £9,870 Arts Council England's National Lottery funded Grants for the arts award. Grants for the arts is Arts Council England's open application funding programme. It invests National Lottery money to support activities that engage people in the arts and helps artists and arts organisations with their work.

The dance programme is produced by a partnership between The Association of Senior Children's and Education Librarians South West and Arts Council England National portfolio organisation Pavilion Dance South West, Arts Council Bridge organisation Real Ideas Organisation, The Reading Agency and South West Association of Chief Librarians.

Libraries in Bath, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire have added an extra incentive for every child completing the Summer Reading Challenge 2013. Finishers will be entered in a free prize draw for Kobo e-reader, with a runner-up in each area winning their age in books.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said: 'This is an action-packed programme of summer activities that will really animate the Summer Reading Challenge and should help to instil a love of reading in everyone taking part.  Creepy House is the perfect way to keep children interested and shows again the value of libraries: arts and culture are relatively cheap to support, and bring big returns. The current investment is 14p per person per week; equal to less than 0.05 per cent of total government spending.'

Here are some of the great activities on offer for this year's Summer Reading Challenge - many of which are free.

To find out what's happening at your local library, download a full guide of what's on in the South West. 

Bath & North East Somerset Libraries

Haunted House Creepy Crafts is a workshop where you can make a haunted house, spooky wind sock and skeletons at West Howe Library on 30 July from 2.30 to 3.30pm.

Bristol Libraries

Creepy Fun Tours of Bristol Central Library on Saturday 13 July - this is a 'behind the scenes' tour of darkest parts of the Central Library and includes spooky stories, petrifying poems and a hair-raising hunt for clues in the basement at 11am and 12.30pm.

Bournemouth Libraries

Creepy House Dancing in Bournemouth Gardens on Saturday 27 July 2.30 to 3.30pm, everyone is invited to join in and learn some spooky moves.

Cornwall Libraries

Over the summer, libraries will have spooky storytellers Mark Harandon and Rod Humphries, dance workshop with Pavilion Dance South West, a Swamp Circus, creepy-crawly experiences and more.

Devon Libraries

Children's author Clive Essame will lead a Story Telling & Craft Session on 1 August at Bideford Library at 1.30pm reading from his new book Impisi about an African lion called Nkosi.

Dorset Libraries

Ron Dawson introduces Scary Bones the skeleton, the bravest of all skeletons, a skeleton super-hero at Highcliffe Library on 15 August from 2 to 3pm.

Gloucestershire Libraries

There are craft events such as Ugly Mugs, Creepy House Creations and Batty About Bats.  There's a Creepy Scavenger Hunt and some spine-tingling storytimes.  There are talks and film screenings and so much more. All through the summer Moreton & Chipping Campden Library are running a Creepy House Colouring Competition - closing date 6 August.

North Somerset Libraries

Join professional storyteller Michael Loader create creepy tales for children aged four to 11 years old, accompanied by a parent or carer. The events take place at Clevedon Library on 7 August at 10.30am to 11.30am, Nailsea Library on 12 August at 2.30 to 3.30pm and Portishead on 12 August at 10.30 to 11.30am. Tickets are £2 per child and must be obtained in advance as numbers are limited.

Plymouth Libraries

Join Miss Alice the spooky governess in the Victorian schoolroom for some spine-tingling stories at Merchant's House, St Andrew's Street, City Centre on 2 August and on 16 August, both 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Poole Libraries

Zoolab is a free hands-on creepy crawly bug action experience at Canford Cliffs Library on 1 August and at Broadstone Library on 2 August, both 10am to 11am or at Parkstone Library on 1 August and Rossmore Library on 2 August, both at 2pm to 3pm.

Somerset Libraries

There will be story sessions and craft activities throughout the summer at libraries in Somerset.

South Gloucestershire Libraries

Creepy House Dance performance by children from Callicroft School, Patchway in South Gloucestershire Library on Wed 17 July at 2pm - children from five schools have created their own dance piece based on the Creepy House Theme

Swindon Libraries

Creepy House Launch event in Swindon on Sat 20 July from 10.30am - Swindon Dance lead a spooktacular Thriller dance extravaganza with everyone invited to join in whilst Minibeast Mayhem offer some hands-on creepy crawly bug action!

Torbay Libraries

There will special summer events and activities including Creepy Castle, Monster Mayhem, Knights, Princesses and Dragons, Funny Bones, Haunted House and maybe a Creepy House Fun Session or two...

Wiltshire Libraries

Salisbury Library will be hosting a special Creepy House dance event in August.