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Summer reading challenge creepy cardboard house

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Matt Dobson: Last Updated 16th February 2024
Posted In: Company News | Education xx 31179

Summer Reading Challenge

GWP Packaging create a “Creepy House” as part of the summer reading challenge

Children taking part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge will be enchanted when they discover they can read their books inside a creepy haunted house.

Created by GWP Packaging designer Stephen Mann, the house has been designed for use during the summer reading challenge – an initiative to keep children reading over the summer months.

The project aims to make reading a more involving interactive experience, whilst bringing the imagery to life and rewarding the children participating. A creepy haunted house is this years theme, which is based on a collaboration between illustrators and writers creating a range of stories that unlock characters as the children progress through them.

The house was constructed to both show the schools involvement and give a physical link and centrepiece for the project.

National Reading Week
Students of Lainsemead Primary School with the cardboard house created for National Reading Week

The making of the Creepy House

The large cardboard playhouse has been designed by packaging design expert Steve Mann of GWP Packaging in Cricklade, and has been decorated by pupils at Lainesmead Primary School.

Steve’s wife Sarah Woolhead is Artist in Residence at Lainesmead School so when he heard about how the school wanted to create a haunted house to bring this year’s reading challenge, Creepy House, to life he jumped at the chance of helping the school.

Steve commented;

It’s great to have an opportunity to be really creative and to design something a bit different. At GWP we design packaging and point of sale units for retail environments and this project was very similar to that. Creating such an angular structure and joining the two halves was an enjoyable challenge. I’m really looking forward to seeing the completed house and how the children have decorated it.

Captivating the students

Pupils from years five and six at Lainesmead Primary School in Old Walcot have worked hard decorating the house over the last few weeks.

GWP Packaging creepy house
GWP Packaging designer Steve Mann with the creepy cardboard house he created

Following the creation of the structure, pupils from years five and six at Lainesmead Primary School in Old Walcot worked hard to decorate the house over the course of a few weeks.

Anusha Gurung, Fatema Rima, Oliva Harrison, Jiya Arora, Rajib Malla, Soren Gurung, Reece Cummings, Mya Antal and Kira Jones all took in part in bringing the cardboard structure to life, and did a great job!

Sarah Woolhead, Artist in Residence at Lainsemead Primary School, said;

The children love art and this was a great way to encourage them to focus on a project. They were really amazed when they saw the cardboard house, GWP have done a great job, the children were overwhelmed when they realised they could go inside it too!

Pride of place at Swindon Library

Now that the house has been finished, it will be moved to Swindon Central library (where it will be available to see and read in from Saturday 20th July 2013).

With decorating complete, the “Creepy House” was moved to Swindon Central Library. Attracting visitors young and old to the library, the house was available to read in throughout the duration of the summer holidays.

Enrollment for this year’s challenge started on July 13th, and was officially launched with a “Thriller” dance extravaganza on the following Saturday.

The house also now provides a physical link and centre piece to the project, as well as high lighting the involvement of Lainsemead Primary pupils and staff.

Cardboard creepy house
A student of Lainsemead Primary enjoys the cardboard creepy house

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge is an annual event which takes place every year during the summer holidays.

Children can sign up at their local library, then read six library books of their choice. By doing this they can collect stickers and other rewards along the way – and best of all it is all free.

Every summer holiday, thousands of families all over the country take part in what has become the UK’s biggest reading event for children in libraries.

Run by the charity The Reading Agency, every year there’s a different theme, with this year being the “Creepy House”. The aim of the challenge is to keep children reading whilst not at school during the summer holidays.

There is a Summer Reading Challenge website, where children can follow their progress online, find new books to read, take part in a story writing competition and play games.

Children can join for free throughout the summer (including at their local libraries), and receive a fold out poster, plus a certificate and medal if they complete the challenge. Once they have read three books, they will also receive a voucher for a free DVD from Swindon Libraries too.

Last year, a total of twelve-thousand, three-hundred and sixty-four books were read through the summer as part of the challenge – a new record! This year however the aim is to reach thirteen thousand!

Other Unusual Cardboard Projects

Whilst often getting to work on exciting, unusual and innovative packaging briefs during his day to day job, Steve has now worked on a couple of very unusual projects over the last couple of months.

Besides creating the Creepy House, Steve has also created a number of corrugated cardboard trophies, which were used as prizes for students that took part in the packaging design competition held in partnership with the Swindon Foodbank. This is in addition to cardboard suitcases used as props in a local stage performance.

Steve Mann again commented;

It was really fun working on the project – it was nice to do something different, even though the structural aspect of it was challenging. It was great to see the children enjoying the finished house as well!

Press Coverage of GWP Group’s Involvement

The involvement of GWP Group and Lainesmead Primary school has been well received by the local press, featuring in the print edition of the Swindon Advertiser as well as a number of local news websites.

Besides capturing the public imagination, the project also reaffirms GWP Groups’ desire to get involved and help with community projects.

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For further details of charity work, education projects and everything going on at GWP Group, go to the News part of this site here, or follow us on social media using the links below.

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About the Author

Matt Dobson, GWP Group Marketing Manager

Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for approximately 9 years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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