Thousands of children accomplish national reading challenge in St Helens

Mayor of St Helens Councillor Janet Johnson (left) awards the Balmer family for completing the Summer Reading Challenge at Eccleston Library.

Thousands of young book lovers have been rewarded for taking part an annual library challenge, which gets children reading more throughout the long summer holiday.

Children were tasked to read six books over the summer break as part of the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge, and rewarded with a certificate and medal for succeeding. In a record-breaking year more than 2,300 youngsters participated this time, with 1,692 of those completing the challenge before the new school year began.

The theme for this year’s challenge was Space Chase, an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

Dozens of Reading Hack volunteers aged 13-19 helped library staff to run the programme, giving up their time to inspire their peers and younger children to read, while working towards certificates in the nationally-recognised Arts Awards.

Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure and Libraries, said: “The annual Summer Reading Challenge is such a massive occasion on the library service’s calendar which has seen many thousands of children participate over the years. None of this would be possible without the dedication of our library staff, and the help and support of our young volunteers in the Reading Hack scheme.

“Congratulations to everyone who took part and a massive thank you to all the local families who enable and encourage their children to learn and grow in our libraries.”

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