Over 8,260 children signed up to take part in this year’s reading challenge, which has lived up to the theme of the ‘Big Friendly Read’, proving hugely popular with young children across the county. The Roald Dahl inspired theme, together with a wide range of engaging, fun activities has encouraged primary school aged children to visit libraries and read up to six books over the summer holidays.
The Summer Reading Challenge is coordinated by the Reading Agency and run in libraries across the UK. In Suffolk libraries it has increased in popularity year on year with more children taking part each year since 2012. Last year the number signing up was 8,226, in 2014 it was 8,100 and the number was 7,800 in 2013. The final figures for 2016 are likely to be even higher as libraries are still inputting their data.
This year hundreds of older children have also enjoyed a new activity in libraries called ImagiNation which asked them to create artwork based on books they have read.
All children who have managed to read all six will be receiving medals and certificates at special presentations in the county’s libraries and the fun will continue with more events taking place in libraries to celebrate Roald Dahl Day on 13 September which would have been the authors 100th birthday.
Alison Wheeler, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries, welcomed the news: “We’re delighted to have again seen an increase in the number of children taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge. The Reading Agency have again created a very popular theme this year and it’s wonderful to see so many children and families visiting libraries to take part. The Summer Reading Challenge showcases the very best of what the library service has to offer – it promotes reading and literacy in a fun way, encourages families to visit libraries, and our wonderful staff create a range of inspired activities to support it throughout the summer.”
The following libraries are hosting special Roald Dahl events to celebrate his 100th birthday:
Lowestoft Library – Saturday 10 September from 10am to 1pm with lots of free activities for children.
Felixstowe Library – Tuesday 13 September from 4.30pm to 6pm. Come and celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday by dressing up as your favourite character. With crafts, activities and a prize for the best fancy dress costume! Tickets are £2.
Chantry Library – Saturday 17 September from 2pm to 4pm. With activities, games, food and a chance to come dressed as a Roald Dahl character. This event is being organised with the Ipswich Children’s Book Group.
Glemsford Library – Tuesday 13 September – a special Roald Dahl themed party from 4.3pm as part of the summer reading challenge presentation.
Needham Market Library – Sunday 18 September from 11.30am to 3.30pm – Roald Dahl activity day with themed activities for children.
Kesgrave Library – Sunday 18 September – A special Roald Dahl inspired puppet show with local puppeteers, Miraiker, as part of the medal presentations for children.