The afternoon will include free games, soft play and inflatables, slime making workshops, story times and crafts, with music provided by Bridge FM and their breakfast DJ Lee Jukes.
Children, aged 4 to 11 years, who attend the launch can sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge, which has a science and innovation theme. Anyone unable to attend can register at their local library or online at www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk.
The aim of the Summer Reading Challenge, which has been run by the Reading Agency in partnership with public libraries for the past 23 years, is to encourage children to read at least six library books over the school summer holiday.
This year, it is hoped that an exciting collection of books and activities featuring fictional ‘Gadgeteers’, brought to life by children’s writer and illustrator Julian Beresford, will help spark children’s curiosity and imagination, as well as help foster a lifelong love of reading.
Following the launch, libraries across Bridgend will run a series of science and innovation themed events over the six-week break, which have been funded by the Welsh Government’s Summer of Fun programme, in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council.
These will include YouTube workshops for 6 to 14 year olds, Mad Science workshops, dance workshops and Drag Queen Story Hours – all details are available on the Awen Libraries website (www.awen-libraries.com) and social media.
Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, the registered charity which manages the library service in Bridgend, said:
“It is fantastic that we can give this year’s Summer Reading Challenge a big public launch, after having to take the Challenge online in 2020 and making it a much lower key event in 2021. Libraries across Bridgend have traditionally done really well at encouraging thousands of local children to sign up to the Challenge, who then go on to win their medal and certificate. So, parents and carers, let’s see if we can get record number of young readers involved in 2022!”
Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, added: “The Summer Reading Challenge provides children with a fantastic opportunity to continue their learning throughout the summer holidays. It’s important for young people to learn in a variety of different ways and this challenge presents a really unique opportunity for children to discover a love of reading.
“It’s really pleasing to see Bridgend County Borough Council, Awen and the Welsh Government work together in partnership for this initiative and I’m sure it will provide many benefits for families and young people right across the county borough.”