Whitby: volunteers needed for reading challenge
North Yorkshire County Council library service is looking for enthusiastic young people aged between 13 and 24 to get involved in Wild World Heroes, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Children aged between four and 11 visit their library to take part in this national scheme, and the library service needs volunteers to help run the scheme and help even more children to become enthusiastic readers.
They will register children onto the challenge, help them to choose books, talk to them about the books they have read and assist with any library activities.
North Yorkshire Outreach Librarian Lyndsay Glover said: “It’s a brilliant opportunity for young volunteers and a really good opportunity to see what it’s like in a working environment.
“It’s great for their CV and personal statement. These days they need something to make them stand out.
“It’s a good opportunity to get to know the community and good to develop a love of reading in young people.
“If they enjoy reading it’s perfect for them. Any local library offers this, it’s a really flexible role. All our volunteers need to be is enthusiastic.”
Reading for pleasure
This year, the Summer Reading Challenge focuses on Wild World Heroes in association with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
It’s about learning about the difference they can make in the world.
Staff and volunteers are not there to say what children need to be reading. Children can read anything they want to. It’s about embracing reading for pleasure.
Volunteers go the extra mile to make sure they can find books that interest them and if they can’t then they can reserve them.
Alliyah Ishaq, 16, started volunteering with the Summer Reading Challenge after a member of the library staff visited her school. The Scarborough Sixth Form student said: “I’d always wanted to work in a library and I worked there every day in the six weeks holiday, I did about 80 hours in total.
“I helped people sign up to the reading challenge, helped people sort out books and take them out.
“I was told that they needed an art club for young people as they only had one for adults and older children and that led to the creation of Scribble Club.”
Alliyah, who is hoping to train as a mental health counsellor when she completes her studies, said: “I’m open to help volunteer again if they need me, I’ve said I will help this year if it goes ahead.
And as for her favourite book? Alliyah took some time to consider. “Just one?” she questioned. “That’s really mean. There’s way too many. But if I had to pick just one, it would definitely be Michelle Paver’s Wolf Brother.”
Promoting a love of reading
David Greaves, English Lead at St Mary’s Primary School in Malton, said: “Pre-lockdown we got our children to join the library and planned to visit at least termly across the school.
“The plan was to promote the library and promote a love of reading, it’s a win-win situation.”
The children visit the library on a Thursday afternoon when it is closed to the general public. They’re sometimes not as quiet as regular library goers.
Mr Greaves, who was proud to show off the school’s imaginatively decorated classroom doors, said: “Each summer we get involved with the Summer Reading Challenge.
“We’ve always done it. In school we give reading books at a set level, but at the library children can pursue their own interests.
“It allows them to explore other genres and there is a greater range of books to choose between.
“I’m the Year 6 reading coordinator and I can honestly say that the best writers are always the best readers.
For more information on Wild World Heroes, which arrives in libraries this summer, visit the website, www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk .
To volunteer, pop into your local library for a chat and complete a short application form. Volunteers need to sign up by July 1 and will receive a free volunteer t-shirt.
You can find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge at your local library or online at https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk
Alternatively, if you'd like to become a library volunteer, email [email protected] or pop into your local library.