We’re celebrating another summer of inspiring young children to discover the joy of books and reading.
Updated figures show the number of children taking part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge were the highest ever, at 8,362. This is slightly higher than in 2016 and it is the fifth consecutive year that the number of participants has gone up in Suffolk.
All 44 libraries across the county have held special award ceremonies for children who have completed this year’s challenge. Children read over 85,000 books and were registered for nearly 2,300 library cards over six weeks.
The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays and helps to get three quarters of a million children into libraries across the country. It’s a fun way of encouraging children to keep reading during the holidays and is produced by the Reading Agency and delivered by libraries. The theme for 2017 was ‘Animal Agents’, with libraries getting on board with a range of animal-related reading and craft activities.
All children who have completed the challenge by reading six books were invited to special ceremonies where they are presented with a medal and certificate. Many children take part year after year and thousands also get their very first library card so they can take part, so it’s a great way of getting children to discover the library from an early age.
The Summer Reading Challenge has been proven to make a difference to children’s reading and literacy skills during the long holidays when reading activity often dips.
Krystal Vittles, Suffolk Libraries development manager and children’s lead, said: “We’re delighted that this year’s Summer Reading Challenge has been so popular yet again and it’s all down to the enthusiasm and hard work of our staff and volunteers. It’s always great to see libraries buzzing with children, and the reading challenge is one of the most important campaigns for our library service.”