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Suffolk Libraries celebrates as record numbers complete Summer Reading Challenge

PUBLISHED: 14:32 26 September 2017

Summer Reading Challenge presentation at Ipswich's Rosehill Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

Summer Reading Challenge presentation at Ipswich's Rosehill Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

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Suffolk Libraries is celebrating after record numbers of children completed the Summer Reading Challenge this year, with more than 8,300 picking up the equivalent of a book a week.

Long Melford Library Summer Reading Challenge presentation. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES Long Melford Library Summer Reading Challenge presentation. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

The national Summer Reading Challenge campaign by the Reading Agency tasks children with reading six books or more over the six week school summer holidays in a bid to promote reading for pleasure.

The Stoke Library Summer Reading Challenge presentation. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES The Stoke Library Summer Reading Challenge presentation. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

Suffolk Libraries promotes the challenge at each of its branches, encouraging youngsters to pick up a book and recommending books.

Summer Reading Challenge presentation at Mildenhall Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES Summer Reading Challenge presentation at Mildenhall Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

This year, a total of 8,362 children across the county successfully completed the challenge – the highest ever in Suffolk.

The presentation of Summer Reading Challenge certificates and medals at Newmarket Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES The presentation of Summer Reading Challenge certificates and medals at Newmarket Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

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.

The Summer Reading Challenge presentation at Oulton Broad. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES The Summer Reading Challenge presentation at Oulton Broad. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

“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.”

The Summer Reading Challenge presentation at Southwold Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES The Summer Reading Challenge presentation at Southwold Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

The number marks a fifth consecutive year the number of successful readers has increased, with youngsters having read a combined 85,000 books.

Long Melford Library's Summer Reading Challenge presentation event which also included an animal encounter activity. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES Long Melford Library's Summer Reading Challenge presentation event which also included an animal encounter activity. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

The library service has also reported that nearly 2,300 children have signed up for library cards over the summer break as well.

Summer Reading Challenge, Great Cornard Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES Summer Reading Challenge, Great Cornard Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

Suffolk Libraries chief executive Alison Wheeler said: “Apart from playing such an important role in promoting reading it’s also a brilliant way of introducing children to the library service and it’s great to see so many signing up for their first library card so they can take part and we hope they will keep coming back.”

Summer Reading Challenge, Framlingham Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES Summer Reading Challenge, Framlingham Library. Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

The challenge works to help keep children’s literacy and reading skills up during the summer, when traditionally a lack of reading at school means the amount of reading dips.

The Summer Reading Challenge presentation event at Kesgrave Library The Summer Reading Challenge presentation event at Kesgrave Library

Each year a different theme is used, with the 2017 topic on ‘animal agents’ helping inform arts and craft activities held.

Iona receives her Summer Reading Challenge medal from Suffolk Libraries' chief executive Alison Wheeler at Kesgrave Library Iona receives her Summer Reading Challenge medal from Suffolk Libraries' chief executive Alison Wheeler at Kesgrave Library

Youngsters who complete the challenge are given a medal and certificate.

Ms Vittles added: “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.”

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