This week on the Summer Reading Challenge we’d like to highlight the work of our volunteers.
Every summer, we recruit volunteers to help us deliver the Challenge to our customers. The Reading Agency (who design the materials for the Challenge) have a scheme for young volunteers called ‘Reading Hacks’.
Westminster Libraries take part in this scheme, so many of our summer volunteers are under 25. But we also have some lovely volunteers of all ages, so we have a great mix.
This summer across our 10 libraries we have around 70 volunteers helping us out with the Big Friendly Read. They join children up to the Challenge, explain how it works, then talk to them about their books when they return, giving out rewards to the children afterwards. The volunteers are excellent ‘reading role models’ for the children, encouraging them to read on to get their medal for 6 books.
One of our volunteers at Church Street Library is Zack Fry, pictured above. He’s 17 and this is the first time he has volunteered with us. He is really enjoying it. Some of the highlights for him have been the conversations he has had with children who have been doing the Challenge, he’s been impressed with what children have read. For instance an 8 year old boy read all of the Harry Potter series, and discussed them all in detail. Zack also likes the fact that although he hears about some of the same titles from different children, each child will get something different from the book and pick up on separate things from it. He was also surprised by being called ‘sir’ by one of the children!
Zack says that volunteering at the library for the Summer Reading Challenge, speaking to parents and children that he doesn’t know has definitely boosted his confidence. This is one of the great things about volunteering – we want the volunteers to enjoy themselves as well!
So a big thank you to Zack and to all our volunteers, the Summer Reading Challenge wouldn’t be the same without you!