Somerset Libraries and Somerset County Council have once again enjoyed a summer full of enthusiastic young readers as part of their Summer Reading Challenge. 7,482 children signed up to take part in this year’s challenge, which was themed ‘Mischief Makers’ in celebration of 80 years of The Beano. Busy staff went on to give out an incredible 5,163 gold medals to the children who successfully completed the challenge by reading 6 books.
As well as reading the books, children were able to take part in a range of mischievous activities including making spiders, firing catapults full of marshmallows and making lots and lots of slime!
The Summer Reading Challenge aims to keep children reading during their summer holidays, when reading habits often drop off. In particular it encourages reading for pleasure, by allowing children to read any 6 books they like from the library, and through helping reluctant readers to discover books they love.
One volunteer from Taunton Library summed up the value of the challenge to so many children.
“It was great to see the children enjoying the whole experience of being in the Library, choosing books and enjoying the activities there. There has been so much emphasis in education recently on targets, often unrealistic, that it is great to see a Challenge which is fun and where children can choose books that they enjoy and at a comfortable level!”
Councillor David Hall said “I am delighted to see that once again Somerset Libraries have helped thousands of children grow in their love of reading during their summer holidays. We know that the development of good reading skills at an early age can have lifelong benefits for a person, so this is a very important achievement.”