READING’S Summer Reading Challenge was a resounding success this year, with 1,717 children between the ages of 4 – 13 taking part.
This year’s Mischief Makers theme (based on the Beano) proved extremely popular.
More children took part at Southcote, Tilehurst and Whitley libraries, than the previous year.
Battle and Palmer Park libraries saw significant increases in the number of children completing the challenge.
All the children completing the challenge of reading at least six books received a certificate and a medal.
Library staff visited 19 primary schools in the borough to spread the word about the challenge and spoke with over 6,000 children.
It was also a great year for volunteers contributing towards the success of the scheme – over 500 volunteer hours over the course of the summer – the most it has ever had!
The library recruited 31 volunteers aged 14-18 and provided them with training, guidance and support. The teenage volunteers worked across all local library branches, encouraging children with their reading and helping to run events and craft activities. They talked with, and listened to, children about the books they had been reading and suggested other things they may like to read, as well as helping children register for the reading challenge and handing out reading rewards.
Cllr Sarah Hacker, Lead Member for Culture, said: “I’m delighted to hear that this year’s reading challenge has achieved such great results. I want to congratulate all the children that took part and to thank all the staff and volunteers whose hard work contributed to making this year such a resounding success.
“The challenge importantly provides a great incentive to get children into their local library, encouraging them to keep up with their reading skills over the long summer holiday and also helping to nurture a life-long love of reading.”
The Summer Reading Challenge, now in its 19th year, is created by The Reading Agency https://readingagency.org.uk, an independent charity working to bring reading to more people in partnership with the UK library network.
This summer, children across the borough were encouraged to take part in the Reading Challenge in July during the long summer holiday.
The free challenge encourages children aged 4 to 11 to read at least six books over the holiday. It is designed for all reading abilities and can include picture books, fiction, factual or audio books.