North Herts youngsters celebrate after Summer Reading Challenge
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Young book-lovers in North Herts and Stevenage have been receiving their medals and certificates after the annual Summer Reading Challenge.
This year’s challenge, themed on Mischief Makers – celebrating 80 years of the Beano comic – saw a record 962 children joining the challenge in Hitchin.
Stevenage had 1,368 children take part, while 665 joined in at Letchworth and 362 participated in Baldock.
Each child received a map of Beanotown and a Gnasher bone to colour in, as well as a set of stickers for each two books read. Everyone who completed the challenge got a wristband, certificate and medal.
Hitchin-based Beano writer Danny Pearson helped launch this year’s challenge at the library in his hometown’s Paynes Park.
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Hitchin library manager Bekah Nicolas was delighted by the challenge’s success.
She told the Comet: “The Summer Reading Challenge is one of the greatest joys in Hertfordshire libraries, and each year it is fantastic to see first-hand the love of books and engagement with reading from the young people of our towns.
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“All library managers and staff want to express how grateful we are to local schools for supporting the challenge and for welcoming us to assemblies during their very busy last few weeks of term.
“We are also indebted to our volunteers for their supremely impressive efforts, and to parents and carers for bringing their children to the library throughout the summer.
“The biggest thanks of all is reserved for the children themselves, who make the summer so special for library staff and volunteers. Well done to you all!”
Those who enjoyed the challenge included Hitchin four-year-old Oliver Warner, who said: “It was just so amazing. I liked telling people about the books I read. They were really funny.”
Eight-year-old Ilona Aunkejoye, also from Hitchin, said: “I loved the reading challenge and I look forward to it every year. One day I hope to become a volunteer of Hitchin Library.”
Ian Wilson, dad to eight-year-old Delilah, said the challenge had “spurred Delilah on to read super quick – up every morning to read before school, and all her spare time.”
Coming up at the libraries next month are Fun Palace events at both Hitchin and Stevenage on Saturday, October 6. You can find out more by contacting each library.