COLUMN: Reading challenge was record breaking by Coun John Knight

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We are record breakers! This year saw the highest ever number of children take part in and complete the Summer Reading Challenge in Nottinghamshire.

A total of 10,419 children took part in the annual challenge that helps encourage children to keep up the reading habit during the long summer break.

And 5,699 children successfully completed the challenge to read six books during the holidays. Nottinghamshire’s record breaking summer is marked with a celebration event taking place this weekend.

Children were inspired by the Summer Reading Challenge’s Record Breakers theme which this year celebrated the 60th anniversary of the popular Guinness World Record Book and introduced children to weird and wonderful records from around the world.

The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge is managed across the county by Nottinghamshire County Council in its libraries, and this year it took place from July 11 to September 6.

Research has shown that keeping up with reading during the summer holidays can boost a child’s literacy skills and development. We have had some outstanding feedback from this year’s Summer Reading Challenge from parents, carers and children.

The feedback demonstrated that the challenge encouraged children to read a wider range of books and motivated children to read more – both of which promote a love of reading.

On Sunday October 18, at Mansfield Central Library, Nottinghamshire County Council Vice-Chairman Councillor Yvonne Woodhead presented awards to children who have been invited to represent their library at the celebration event.

The achievement of Summer Reading Challenge volunteers, who supported the challenge in libraries by listening to children talk about books, will also be recognised at the event.

There were a number of highlights during this year’s challenge.

Dave Shelton, author and illustrator of A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, guest starred at both Mansfield and Worksop Libraries as the campaign started in July, with author Andrew Newbound launching the challenge at West Bridgford Library the same weekend.

Artist and storyteller, Gordon McLellan visited Arnold, Hucknall, Bingham and Beeston Libraries to help children invent their own imagined record breaking wild creatures.

More than 4,700 children attended Summer Reading Challenge activities hosted in the county’s libraries over the summer.

Find out more about the latest events and activities taking place at libraries across the county.

Visit the Nottinghamshire County Council website at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/events for more details.