Children rewarded for reading efforts

Jack and Eryn Hurdman receive their awards from the Mayor of Spilsby Coun Michael Lenton and his wife Ann after completing the Summer Reading Challenge.

Jack and Eryn Hurdman receive their awards from the Mayor of Spilsby Coun Michael Lenton and his wife Ann after completing the Summer Reading Challenge.

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YOUNG book-worms were rewarded for their prolific reading habits over the summer holidays as part of a national scheme encouraging children to use their libraries more.

More than 50 four to 12 year olds from Spilsby took up the Summer Reading Challenge to read six books over the holiday period.

Customer services advisor at Spilsby Library Alan Holmes said: “It’s a very important scheme because we need children to use their libraries for reading and more.

“So many children fall behind at school if they don’t read over the holidays, so this helps to make sure they are ready for the start of the new term.”

Every year the challenge takes a different theme and this summer ‘Circus Stars’ was the exciting subject to encourage children to get involved.

For every book they read, the youngsters were rewarded with stickers to complete a piece of artwork designed by top children’s illustrator Nick Price.

As they collected stickers the story of six aspiring young circus performers was revealed.

The characters gain more circus skills the more books they read, mirroring the challenge undertaken by the children partaking in the scheme.

On Friday, challengers who had successfully read all six books and completed their sticker collection were rewarded with a certificate, a medal and a sports bag by the Mayor of Spilby Coun Michael Lenton.

He said: “I think it’s a wonderful scheme - today, reading from a book tends to be going out of fashion with more people turning to Kindles, but in my opinion that doesn’t compare to the joy of opening a new book.

“Reading today is just as essential as ever - I used to be a veracious reader as a child and I think it’s important to ensure that our children are given every opportunity read as many books as possible.”

The scheme has been running nationally for 13 years and last year 760,000 children took part in it via the UK library network and the Reading Agency.

Summer Reading Challenge director for the Reading Agency Anne Sarrag said: “Our research shows that children really enjoy taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge.

“It’s a great way to keep them entertained over the holidays, but more importantly, we know that children who take part read more books and read more widely than those who don’t, with potentially life-changing results.”