Volunteers and staff from 12 of North Yorkshire’s libraries have received awards for their contribution to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which attracted nearly 10,000 children.
The annual challenge takes place in libraries across the country and North Yorkshire’s success attracted the attention of the Reading Agency, which coordinates the scheme nationally. The agency was keen to find out how the county’s libraries managed to encourage so many children to complete the challenge.
The scheme encourages children to read six books over the summer holidays, collecting rewards along the way. This year the theme was Mischief Makers, with the Beano’s Dennis the Menace and Gnasher being a big hit with children.
In North Yorkshire, 9,650 children started the challenge, with 82 per cent competing it. Across the Yorkshire and Humber region, 41,709 children took part, with North Yorkshire’s children making up 23 per cent of that total. North Yorkshire far outstripped the national average of 58 per cent for children completing the challenge.
County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “Every member of staff and volunteer across all 42 libraries in North Yorkshire worked incredibly hard to encourage children to read over the summer, because they know how important it is for children to get the reading habit and the lifelong benefits reading for pleasure can bring.
“The number of children taking part is the highest in the region, which reflects well on the work of all those involved to ensure that everyone is welcome and that reading and literacy are encouraged. It’s great news that children is North Yorkshire remain passionate about books and reading when there are so many other things competing for their time.”
County Councillor Robert Windass, Chair of the County Council, congratulated team members from Gargrave, Derwent Valley Bridge, Sherburn, Nidderdale Plus, Boroughbridge, Skipton, Catterick, Mashamshire, Thirsk, Harrogate, Grassington and Stokesley libraries for increasing the number of children taking part by more than 10 per cent on last year.
Cllr Windass said: “All the libraries, their staff and volunteers are to be commended for so successfully sharing their passion for reading. Reading is a key life skill that supports us in so many ways during our lives. Children are being supported to develop a love of reading by our library service and the many volunteers who run and support the county’s community libraries. Those young people will reap the benefits at school and for many years to come.”