Cumbrian libraries are on the search again for young volunteers to help run and promote the county's annual summer reading challenge.
Young people aged 14 to 25 can get involved - and also gain valuable work experience.
This year's summer reading challenge, which will run from 10 July until Sunday 12 September, is themed around cosmic travel and is called Space Hop. Children aged mainly 4 to 12 years old will be invited to try to read six books on space travel during the summer holidays. Young readers are given free stickers and goodies via libraries as they progress through the challenge and a special Space Hop bag, certificate and medal is given to them once they complete it.
The young volunteers are needed to encourage children to join and complete Space Hop, help promote the challenge, assist library staff in manning the reading challenge desk, talk to children about what they have read and help them to find what they want. They will also give out the free stickers and special gifts, encourage children to complete the challenge and attend an awards event at the end of the summer.
Volunteers will be needed for a minimum of 2 hours per week up to a maximum of 25 hours per week for 14 years olds and a maximum of 35 hours per week for over 15 year olds –although this will depend on library opening times. Anyone up to the age of 25 can get involved.
Volunteers will be provided with full training before the challenge begins, and there will be countywide recognition for the volunteering done.
Anyone aged over 16 years can use the time spent volunteering to contribute to the 'Vinvolved 50' scheme or towards a Duke of Edinburgh award.
Last year 51 young people signed up to help with the summer reading challenge. Altogether they volunteered over 1,600 hours of their time - a few even continued to offer their free time after the summer.
Application packs are available online at www.cumbriacc.gov.uk/libraries/childrensservices/reading_challenge.asp or by contacting the following local libraries:
Barrow Library - 01229 407369
Carlisle Library - 01228 227324
Kendal Library - 01539 713528
Penrith Library - 01768 812104
Whitehaven - 01946 506408
Please note the closing date for volunteer applications is Friday 23 April 2010. If aged over 16 years a security check will be required.
Last year over 6,000 children took part in the summer reading challenge and 56% completed it.
Jane aged 7 said; "The volunteers helping is a good idea for the children to talk to young people, rather than adults."
"Awesome," said Hugh aged 7.
"Participating in the summer reading challenge this year has contributed towards my Duke of Edinburgh award," said Rachel aged 15.
"The stickers were awesome –especially the smelly ones," Kian aged 9.
"I like all the summer reading challenges, but this one is one of the best," Jaz aged 11.
Media enquiries to Gareth Cosslett, News Manager on 01228 226332