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Suffolk: Library bosses pleased with surge in young people who enjoy reading

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 July 2014

Krystal Vittles.

Krystal Vittles.

Archant

New figures showing a surge in the number of youngsters who enjoy reading have been welcomed by library bosses in Suffolk, as they pledged to sustain the ‘reading buzz’ among young people in the county.

Data released from the National Literacy Trust’s 2013 survey last week revealed that out of 30,000 eight to 16-year-olds who were asked, 53% said they enjoyed reading ‘very much’ or ‘quite a lot’, the highest level recorded by the organisation.

The news come as Suffolk Libraries launches this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which encourages youngsters to keep reading during the summer holidays.

The 2013 campaign saw more than 7,700 people take part.

Krystal Vittles, innovation and development manager at Suffolk Libraries, said: “We are delighted to hear that more children are enjoying reading. Children are borrowing more books from our libraries, both fiction and information books and we’re all set for a sizzling summer reading challenge.

“The reading challenge has been proven to be a great way of engaging children with reading for pleasure and using the library.

“We also want to sustain that reading buzz so the children who join us for reading challenge, come back and borrow more books as the year continues.

“The new national curriculum, which launches in September, emphasises the importance of reading for pleasure and that’s what we’re all about.

“Because of the high social media profile of many writers, reading is increasingly seen as ‘cool’.

“Film versions of books aimed at children and teens continue to do well at the box office, which in turn is providing the oxygen of publicity for the books they are based on.

“This may be why the biggest increase in the enjoyment of reading was seen in pupils aged 11 to 14.”

The figures from the trust have also shown that only 10% of the young people surveyed in 2013 did not enjoy reading at all, while nearly a third of them said they read outside of the classroom every day.

Miss Vittles added: “It’s important for children in Suffolk to catch the reading bug right from the start. Sharing books with babies and young children is very rewarding and our activities can lay the seeds for a life spent reading for pleasure.”

Witnesses to a crash in an Ipswich retail park, which has left an eight-year-old girl in hospital, are being asked to come forward.

A coroner has expressed concern that staff at a Suffolk holiday park are yet to be health and safety trained – more than 12 months after a girl drowned there.

Ed Sheeran will compete against friend Stormzy for this year’s Mercury Prize.

A mental health unit run by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has been awarded a prestigious accreditation.

A woman in her 70s has spoken of her “shock” after an alleged assault saw her knocked to the ground in the high street of a Suffolk town.

A Bury St Edmunds man has appeared in court after being charged in connection with two burglary incidents in the town within four days.

A group of travellers who had set up an unlawful camp on the West End Road car park in Ipswich have now moved on to the Bramford Lane Recreation ground in the north west of town.

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