Graeme Atkins, Executive Head of Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham, presented Lauren Downall, with her for prize for taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge. 2,500 youngsters took part – reading

Record number of children take on reading challenge

Thousands of youngsters across Northumberland put their summer holidays to good use by taking part in the annual Summer Reading Challenge.

A record-breaking 2,500 children aged four to 11, took on the task of reading at least six books and visiting their local library three times - collecting fun stickers and incentives, and entering competitions along the way.

The Challenge was based on a science and innovation theme and was fronted by characters the “Gadgeteers”.

The topic proved popular with families who loved the supporting events – from workshops with Northumberland Wildlife Trust and drawing with well-known illustrator Liz Million, to a visit from best-selling “Horrible Science” author Nick Arnold.

Presentation ceremonies have taken place in libraries across the county and at Hexham Abbey, where Graeme Atkins, Executive Head of Queen Elizabeth High School, Hexham, presented children with their medals and certificates.

Cllr Jeff Watson, Cabinet Member for Libraries, at Northumberland County Council, who presented children with medals and certificates at Widdrington and Alnwick libraries said: “We are delighted that so many families took part – and really enjoyed doing so.

“By delivering fun reading activities the Council has been able to provide free and exciting entertainment to keep children inspired to read.

“Research showed that literacy levels in young children were an issue of concern post-pandemic and the Summer Reading challenge will go some way in addressing that.”

Children taking part were entered in a prize draw to win one of five fantastic science kits. The winners were: Betsy Hope-Castonguay, Wylam Library; Jack Swinburn, Blyth Library; Evangeline Reid, Amble Library; Lauren Downall, Hexham Library and Aimee Chapman, Cramlington Library. There was also a prize at each library.
View all news