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Young Harlow readers urged to join Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge

Lifestyle / Fri 7th Aug 2015 am31 11:00am

WHETHER you’re head over heels for Harry Potter or crazy for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, there’s still time to sign up for the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge.

Thousands of children have already signed up to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge at libraries across Essex – and there’s still plenty of time to join in.

Essex libraries are offering children aged four to 11 years old a chance to join in by borrowing and reading any six library books over the summer up until September 5. The Challenge has a new theme each year: this year, it’s Record Breakers, thanks to a partnership with Guinness World Records.

Last year more than 42,800 children took part in Essex and this year all children need to do to get involved is sign up at their nearest library. As they read, children can collect stickers to complete their free poster and discover fascinating facts about record breakers as they go.

Older children will be able to take part in ImagiNation, a reading and arts programme that gives everyone a chance to find and read books they enjoy and develop their creativity.

Councillor Roger Hirst, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Libraries, Planning and the Environment, said: “It is extremely important that we get as many children as possible committing to the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge. Children who read for pleasure during the summer holidays can maintain and improve their reading levels, keeping their confidence high for the next school term. Essex’s libraries offer children a free, fun and fulfilling way to spend their holiday time whilst expanding their knowledge and imagination.”

Libraries across the country celebrated the start of the Challenge by encouraging local families to take part in a world record attempt, for the most pledges received for a reading campaign. An amazing 80,000 pledges were received over the weekend in special pledge centre libraries – a fraction short of the number required to set a record but a phenomenal number in just four days. Essex contributed 2,267 pledges to the national total. In Essex we also had a countywide pledge attempt obtaining 3,500 pledges to visit libraries, read and share books with children over the summer.

Guinness World Records Editor in Chief, Craig Glenday, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people of all ages come together to launch the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge; to see so many excited faces and so many new people going to the library as a result. Books have always been at the heart of everything we do, and we’re thrilled to be able to support an initiative that gets kids into libraries and picking up books.”

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency, said: “At The Reading Agency we believe that everything changes when we read. For lots of families, the Summer Reading Challenge is the highlight of their summer: it makes reading fun and improves children’s reading range, motivation and confidence. We hope more children than ever do sign up this year at their local library.”

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