READING’S Summer Reading Challenge was a resounding success this year, with 1,842 children between the ages of 4 – 13 taking part.
This year’s Animal Agents theme (based on a detective agency staffed by animals) proved extremely popular, with participation up 4.5% from last year.
For the first time, children under four could take part in a mini reading challenge, with around 100 little ones taking part.
All library branches saw a good take-up. Caversham Library in particular saw a huge rise in the number of children joining the challenge, with over 43% more children joining in this year.
All the children completing the challenge of reading at least six books received a certificate and a medal. Caversham, Tilehurst, Central and Whitley libraries all saw significant increases in the number of children completing the challenge.
Encouragingly, more boys than ever took part in the challenge to read six books over the summer – 45% of the challenge participants were boys.
Library staff visited over half the primaries in the borough to spread the word about the challenge and there was also an increase in number of teenage volunteers contributing towards the success of the scheme, with 36 young people talking with children about their reading.
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.
“We know that children’s reading can sometimes dip during the long summer holiday and so the challenge importantly provides a great incentive to get children into their local library, encouraging them to keep up with their reading skills and also helping to nurture a life-long love of reading. I’m particularly pleased to see reading amongst boys in Reading has increased again this year.”
For information on the national results and on next year’s Beano themed summer reading challenge visit:
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.