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Tesco Bank launces Summer Reading Challenge 2013 with Scottish libraries

The Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland launches today (Thursday 20th June), aimed at inspiring children aged 4-11 throughout Scotland to read more.

To celebrate, an excited group of children from Castleview Primary School in Edinburgh enjoyed a day to remember with the new Children’s Laureate, Malorie Blackman, at the recently opened Craigmillar Library.

Run by The Reading Agency, in partnership with library services and Tesco Bank, the Challenge encourages children to join the library and read six books during the summer break, a time when children's literacy skills dip, with potentially damaging effects.

Each year the Challenge is based around an exciting new theme to inject fun and creativity to motivate children to read for pleasure. This year’s theme, "Creepy House", illustrated by award-winning Chris Riddell, allows children to join the adventurers as they explore the Creepy House.

To further encourage participation, a grant will also be available to local authorities to promote the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland through a range of activities. These will include events with entertainers, authors, animal-handling workshops and other local activity designed to generate excitement around the magic of reading.

This is Tesco Bank’s third year supporting the programme in Scotland. Last year, there was also significant growth as nearly 40,000 children engaged positively in reading, a near 13% increase on the previous year.

Malorie Blackman said,

"I have pledged to use my time as the Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate to highlight the vital importance of libraries to children’s lives, and to local communities. I therefore couldn’t be more thrilled to be here, launching Creepy House which will introduce so many children to that vital, lifelong resource, the public library. "

Miranda McKearney OBE, founder-director of The Reading Agency, said,

"Research shows that to become literate, it is vital that children enjoy reading. The ‘why’ is as important as the ‘how’. That’s why the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland concentrates on making reading really, really fun. We’re very excited to be working again with Scottish libraries and Tesco Bank to change more children’s lives."

Benny Higgins, chief executive at Tesco Bank, added,

"This is now the third year of our partnership with The Reading Agency and we’re delighted the programme has continued to grow. Both The Reading Agency and Scotland’s libraries play a critical part in supporting reading for pleasure, which is even more important during the long summer holidays. We know that literacy and a love of reading can help to break cycles of deprivation and disadvantage, giving children opportunities for a brighter future."

Greg Dimeck, head teacher at Castleview Primary, added,

"The children had a wonderful time at Craigmillar Library today and will definitely be spreading the word about the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland to their friends and family. They can’t wait to get started!"

--ENDS--

For more information and media enquiries please contact:

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+44 (0) 131 274 3630 

About Us:

Tesco Bank’s goal is to make banking and insurance easier and better value for people who shop at Tesco. We’ve been around since 1997 and today we help more than 5 million customers manage their money every day. Our 4,000 colleagues serve our customers seven days a week from our three main centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle, and we are also available through online and mobile banking 24/7. Tesco Bank participates in the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board.

Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC173199. Registered Office: 2 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9FQ

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