Thousands rolled up, rolled up for circus stars reading challenge

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MORE than 6,000 Cambridgeshire children en-rolled up in the County’s libraries for this Summer’s “Circus Stars” Reading Challenge.

The children were invited by Cambridgeshire County Council libraries to read six books or more over the course of the summer holiday in the national campaign. By the end some 3,487 girls (57%) and 2,628 boys (43%) participated in the scheme.

They joined at their local library and were given a circus themed membership pack to get them started. There were stickers and rewards to collect along the way with a medal and certificate for all who read six books. A total of 3,395 children received certificates and medals at special presentation ceremonies.

Richard Young, Children’s Services Manager for Cambridgeshire County Council Libraries, said: “The combination of fun, freedom and creativity impacts significantly on children’s reading levels, range, motivation and confidence. Taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge helps prevent the ‘summer reading dip’ in achievement when children without reading opportunities at home over the long summer break traditionally lose ground in their reading.”

Cambridgeshire County Councillor David Harty, Cabinet Member for Learning, said: “The summer reading challenge harnesses the power of reading for pleasure to improve children’s life chances. Research shows that children who enjoy reading are more likely to score highly on reading assessments than those who don’t and that children who use libraries regularly are twice as likely to be above average readers. We want Libraries to be community hubs and a great initiative such as this, is a perfect way of getting families into our facilities and seeing what else is on offer.”