Just before the holidays started I was looking for a job, or something to do in the time I have off and my Mother emailed me a link to a SNJ article, asking for volunteers to join the Library.
The Summer Reading Challenge is a program for children where they must read six books over the course of the summer holiday and they can collect stickers and bracelets and activities, visiting three times and taking out two books at a time, and discussing what they liked about the books they read. It was started because children can lose two months of reading comprehension in the time they’re off for the summer.
When I was younger I participated and I thought that it would be really fun to help with. I absolutely love reading (if you hadn’t gathered from reading my blog so far) and I knew that I could gain valuable skills and experience applicable to other jobs and aspects of my life. It also looks great on my CV and UCAS application.
Through the Reading Agency I became a Reading Activist and by signing up to their website it has enabled me to record my work and earn ‘badges’ for the skills that I’m gaining from volunteering. It also means that there are goals to achieve when working and tracks how well your experience is going. I have got a really cool Mythical Maze (which is this year’s theme) t-shirt and a great badge with my name on it (extremely exciting), I’ve also been wearing an ace badge that I bought at Waterstones that reads ‘Will work for books!’.
So far I have explained the program to parents and children, helped them to sign up and handed out their starter packs. Depending on the reading speed of children it can take them all holiday to read the books or just the first couple of weeks. The idea is to get them interested in reading and to keep them going. Today I handed out two certificates and medals to two boys who had completed the challenge already, much to their (and my) delight! I am really really enjoying working with the children and working in the library atmosphere where everybody loves books as much as I do.
When the Summer Reading Challenge is over I’m hoping to have a more permanent volunteering role at the library, not only because I love it there but I also think it will give me a leg up in getting a paid job there in the future, which other than being an author would be the dream job for me.