Published 14th November 2020

Following the success of the Summer Reading Challenge, children across Southend are being invited to join the Winter Mini Challenge and become reading heroes.

The Winter Mini Challenge, which runs from Tuesday 1st December 2020 – Friday 15th 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. Reaching their online reading goal will unlock a virtual badge and a special ‘Everyone Is A Hero’ certificate to print off and keep.

Children can visit the Winter Mini Challenge website at from Tuesday 1 December to start rating and reviewing their books. There will also be a host of fun activities, videos and reading recommendations, plus an exciting competition. Adults can find The Reading Agency’s very useful resources bundle at

Children’s books can be borrowed from the library – through Click & Collect whilst under the current national restrictions – online e-books and e-audio books are free through the BorrowBox app.

Labour’s Anne Jones, Southend Council’s 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.”

For more information, please e-mail: or visit

The Winter Reading Challenge is brought to you by The Reading Agency in partnership with public libraries and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

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