Reading challenge for children throughout winter

Children across Southend are being invited to join the Winter Mini Challenge and become a reading hero. The Winter Mini Challenge, which runs from Tuesday 1 December 2020 – Friday 15 January 2021, encourages children to keep up their reading habits over the winter holidays, with a free-to-access website featuring rewards and incentives for reading and reviewing books. To take part, children simply set themselves a reading goal (three books are recommended) and then read any books of their choice. Every time they finish a book, they add it to their challenge website profile at and leave a short book review. Reaching their online reading goal will unlock a virtual badge and a special ‘Everyone Is A Hero’ certificate to print off and keep. The Reading Agency will also have a whole host of fun activities, videos and reading recommendations, plus an exciting competition. Children can visit the Winter Mini Challenge website at from Tuesday 1 December to start rating and reviewing their books and enjoying the online activities Children’s books can be borrowed from the library - through Click & Collect whilst under the current national restrictions - E-books and e-audio books are free through the BorrowBox app. Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “We know that local children absolutely love getting involved in the reading challenges. Reading plays an important role in a child’s development and by creating fun challenges and activities, we are able to promote reading in a fun and manageable way. “This challenge will help keep children entertained and educated over the winter break from the school environment and attain a reward when they complete their three books. The concept has worked well in previous summer and winter challenges, and I hope lots of children will be taking part this year.” The Winter Mini Challenge is run through the Reading Agency year-round children's website which can be found at For more information, please e-mail: or visit

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