Summer Reading challenge numbers rise

Summer Reading challenge numbers rise

The number of children who took part in the Summer Reading Challenge rose by 20,000 this year, to a total number of 780,000 children.

The programme, which is run through public libraries, encourages children aged four to 12 years to read six books over the summer holidays. The scheme accounts for around 20% of all books issued to children by libraries in a year. During this year's challenge, some 53,000 children joined their local library to take part, with boys accounting for 44% of the total number taking part.

Miranda McKearney, director of the Reading Agency—which runs the programme—said: "Those who say we no longer need libraries should get real and take a long, hard look at  the huge public response to the programme.

"Children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above-average readers, and we can't afford to lose the creativity, passion and massive community mobilisation libraries bring to the task of turning children into readers for life."