Information for community groups

Jump to: About | Benefits of registration | How to take part | Resources and inspiration | Community FundCommunity group Challenge | Technical support

We believe that reading has the power to change lives and that developing a love of reading in childhood can have a huge impact on educational attainment and future wellbeing. 

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge aims to help children and young people between the ages of 5 and 18 develop a love of reading. We’re supporting schools, libraries and communities across Scotland to develop reading cultures and give very child in Scotland the opportunity to experience the benefits – and the fun – of reading for pleasure. 

The First Minister's Reading Challenge is delivered by Scottish Book Trust, a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. 

We have seen so much inspiring practice from schools, libraries and community groups across Scotland who have found creative and exciting ways to encourage children and young people to discover the magic of reading. This video of our celebration event 2019 shows just what can be achieved by signing up for the Challenge and putting a focus on reading for pleasure each year. Well done to everyone who has shared their reading journeys with us so far! 

Who can take part

All community groups in Scotland can register to take part. The Reading Challenge is also open to primary schools, secondary schools and public libraries. 


Benefits of registration

Registration for the First Minister’s Reading Challenge allows you to:

  • order reading passports for individual participants. Both English and Gaelic language passports are available
  • order group passports for your groups, which are wall charts that participants can use together to log their reading
  • access our huge range of downloadable resources and guides. You can preview all of the resources here, and log in to download them
  • apply for our Community Fund to work with an author, illustrator, storyteller or poet
  • submit your Reading Challenge stories to us for a chance to win awards and attend our Celebration event



How to take part

  1. Register your organisation
    A key contact should register the organisation for the challenge, and order any passports. Registration is quick and easy. If you were signed up last year, your key contact just needs to log in and opt in to this year's challenge. They will then find the passport ordering page linked on their account page. If you didn't take part last year, you can register here and order passports. If you have any issues with registration, please contact us.
  2. Get reading!                                                                                                                                                            You can browse our resource library and our blog for ideas and inspiration.
  3. Enter the Challenge
    We want to hear all about your reading journey!


Resources and inspiration

In our resources section we have a variety of downloadable and adaptable resources available for groups. Resources can be filtered by age, type and theme, making it as easy as possible to find something that works for your groups.

Everyone who registers for the Challenge will also be sent regular email updates about taking part, full of support and ideas. You may unsubscribe from these emails at any time without affecting your participation in the First Minister's Reading Challenge.


Community Fund

With our Community Fund, you could invite an author, illustrator, storyteller or poet to work with your group and buy books or other resources to make the most of the visit. All community groups taking part in the Reading Challenge can apply for this fund, and the deadline to apply is 18 November 2021. You can find out more and apply here.


Community group challenge

Community groups can enter the Community Reading Culture Challenge.

Challenge submissions will be open on the website in 2021, and you can enter any time before the closing day on 28 April 2022.

Community Reading Culture Challenge

We want to hear about how the First Minister’s Reading Challenge has inspired your community group to read for pleasure.

Let us know:

  • How the children in your group felt about reading at the beginning of the year
  • What activities you got involved in 
  • How the children feel about reading now
  • How you plan to encourage them to read for pleasure in the future

Your entry can be in any format, from a written document, to a PowerPoint presentation or a video made by the children, it’s up to you. You can find more information on entering in the Submission Guide for Community Groups. 


Technical support


If your group has participated in the Reading Challenge before, your key contact can opt-in to this year's challenge quickly and easily. Just log in to your account and select yes when prompted to confirm you want to take part again.

If you need to change to a new key contact, you can contact us by phone on 0131 524 0160 or by email at

If your group hasn't taken part before, you can register for this year's challenge here.

Reading passports

New key contacts will have the opportunity to order reading passports for their group when they register for the Reading Challenge. Passports are available in English language, Gaelic and as group passports, which are wall charts.

Key contacts can also order passports at any time from their account page, so if you're opting in to the challenge this year, remember to place your order!

Changing your organisation's key contact

If you need to change your key contact, please just contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Challenge submissions

The Community Reading Culture Challenge will open for submissions in 2021, and will be open until 28 April 2022.

There is no set format to submit to the Challenge, and we encourage you to tell us your community group's story in the way that is best for you.

Get the resources and support you need to promote reading in your school or community

Take part