Welcome back to the Reading Challenge!

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon standing at a microphone at a Reading Challenge celebration event

Welcome (or welcome back!) to the First Minister’s Reading Challenge. This article will introduce you to the new format of the Reading Challenge, and hopefully answer your key questions about the programme.  
 
For any additional questions, see the About section of this website, or get in touch at readingchallenge@scottishbooktrust.com.

Who can submit? 

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge focuses on building a love of reading for children and young people in the classroom, library or in local community groups. Any primary or secondary school class, library or community group in Scotland can register and submit to the Reading Challenge. 
 
Registering not only allows you to submit, and be in with a chance of winning an award in our national competition, but it also grants you access to exclusive resources on our website, and lets you order Reading Passports. It also allows you to apply for author events and workshop funds. Registration is now open, so make sure you sign up via the registration page

What are the categories?

For this school year, we’ve changed the focus of the First Minister's Reading Challenge to celebrate the reading journeys of classes, small groups or individual children and young people. If you’re just starting out on your reading journey, the Reading Challenge can kick start a love of reading. The categories are - 

  • Classroom Inspiration Challenge – a chance to showcase the work of your class or a year group in a primary school setting
  • Pupil Reading Journey – a creative opportunity for individual children and pupils to share the reading journey they've been on over the course of the school year
  • Gaelic Medium Education Reading Journey – this challenge is especially for Gaelic Medium Education settings to showcase their reading journey
  • Reading Inspiration Challenge – this challenge is especially for secondary schools and can follow the reading journey of an individual pupil, class or group
  • Library Reading Culture Challenge – a chance for libraries to share the work they’ve done with children and young people this year
  • Community Reading Culture Challenge – for community groups developing a love of reading with the children and young people they work with

What to include in your submission?

The key things to highlight in your submission are how you promoted reading for pleasure to the children you work with and also the impact it had on them.  
 
There’s no one way to develop a love of reading, and if you’re not sure where to start we have a resource on Building a Reading Culture in your Classroom and another on Building a Reading Culture in your Library or Community Group. In those you can find activity ideas, tips for getting started, and space to make your own plans for what you’d like to try delivering. 
 
It’s also crucial that your submission contains an insight into the impact your delivery had on the children you work with. How have their habits or attitudes changed? The impact you chart can also extend beyond an interest in books. If you work with a child who, through some of the activities you’ve explored together, has become less shy, or more engaged across school, or found a great source of escapism – we’d love to hear about that too!

What can I use to support my delivery? 

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is full of resources you can use as part of your delivery, including classroom or activity ideas, printable decorations for your classroom or community space and more in-depth resources that are designed to help you sustain a love of reading with the children you work with. You can also find help via the blog, where we’ll post articles containing tips and inspiration from schools who have taken part in the Reading Challenge previously. 
 
Throughout the year we’ll also be running CLPL sessions, which you can attend to gain more information about the programme, as well as some ideas for delivery. 
 
The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is run by the Scottish Book Trust whose website also contains a Learning and Resources section, which includes further resources, activities as well as book lists, all designed to get you and the children you work with reading. 

When is the deadline?

Submissions will open in 2023 and the deadline for entering the challenge will be Thursday 27 April 2023

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