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West Berkshire Summer Reading Challenge partners with World Wide Fund for Nature

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CHILDREN across the district are being challenged to read up to six library books this summer.

West Berkshire Libraries has launched its summer reading challenge, which runs between July 1 and September 15, and the theme for this year is Wild World Heroes – a celebration of books, nature and action for the environment, which has been developed in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

There will also be a mini-challenge for pre-school children and one for grown-ups too.

Councillor Howard Woollaston and West Berkshire Libraries manager Felicity Harrison launching the Summer Reading Challenge (48937618)
Councillor Howard Woollaston and West Berkshire Libraries manager Felicity Harrison launching the Summer Reading Challenge (48937618)

The challenge is designed to help children keep up their reading skills and confidence over the summer holidays and prevent the ‘reading dip', with stickers and medals available as the challenge progresses.

The council’s executive member for leisure and culture, Howard Woollaston (Con, Lambourn) said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is extremely popular for obvious reasons. It’s a perfect mix of fun and learning, and children love the themes and collecting their medals and certificates.

“This year’s theme - Wild World Heroes - will inspire children to discover how they can make a difference to the environment in fun and exciting ways.”

He added that the council was now undertaking a review of the library services across the district as numbers of users were up to just under 50 per cent of what they were pre-Covid.

Ebook rentals were now up a huge 180 per cent since before the pandemic.

"We are totally committed to our libraries," he said. "Great thanks also to all our volunteers who make it all possible. It is all very positive."

Children aged 4-11 can visit a library to sign up to the reading challenge, and for additional activities, games, competitions and suggestions for further reading, visit https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

It is free to join and borrow books from West Berkshire libraries for all people living, working, or studying in West Berkshire.

Babies and young children can have their own library cards and borrow up to 15 books at a time. There are also audiobooks (on CD), e-books and e-audiobooks, all available to borrow for free. DVDs for children are available to hire. All details, including current library opening hours, can be obtained on: www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries.

People interested in volunteering at a library should contact www.westberks.gov.uk/volunteer

In line with the current government restrictions still in place, customers will be asked to wear a face mask (unless exempt), maintain social distancing, use hand sanitiser as they enter the library, and provide details for Test and Trace.

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