CHILDREN across the county are being encouraged to participate in a science-themed summer reading challenge which has launched.

‘The Gadgeteers’ reading challenge is being supported by The Reading Agency and the Science Museum Group in an effort to keep pupils engaged over the summer break.

A total of 31 libraries in Dorset will take part in the challenge - including eight community managed libraries - with children aged 4-11 able to visit and pick up free materials.

Throughout the summer children will be able to take part in a range of free activities and events.

Over the course of the challenge, children will be able to join six fictional ‘Gadgeteers’. The characters – brought to life by children’s writer and illustrator Julian Beresford – use their curiosity and wonder to understand the science behind a whole range of interests, from fashion and technology to cooking and music.

Karen Napier, CEO at The Reading Agency said: "We're delighted to see how library partners across the country are organising their own events and activities to support this year's Summer Reading Challenge. We are really looking forward to working closely with them to help get children reading, innovating, and sparking their imaginations this summer.”

The Summer Reading Challenge reaches more than 700,000 children across the UK each year in partnership with public libraries. The Challenge continued to reach well over half a million children across the UK in 2021 as lockdowns eased, motivating children to keep reading during a difficult time.

Since 1999, the popular challenge has encouraged children to read for pleasure over the summer holidays, building reading skills and confidence and helping to prevent the ‘dip’ in reading skills while children are out of school.

By providing fun reading activities, the challenge hopes to support families and teachers by providing free-to-access recreation and learning resources – all created to keep children inspired to read. The option of the digital Summer Reading Challenge platform will encourage children with limited physical access to the library to take part in the challenge.