Book challenge

Youngsters at Headland Library who completed this year's Summer Reading Challenge
Youngsters at Headland Library who completed this year's Summer Reading Challenge

YOUNG bookworms were rewarded for their efforts in reaching personal reading milestones over the summer - and helping to break a Hartlepool record in the process.

Children gathered at the Headland Library, in Middlegate, which was one of a number of presentations organised throughout the town to recognise the efforts of youngsters who completed this year’s free Summer Reading Challenge. The challenge, run by Hartlepool Borough Council in a bid to increase children’s interest in books and boost their literacy, was for children to read six books over the summer holidays.

Councillor Robbie Payne, a Labour representative in the Headland and Harbour ward went along to Headland Library to present the children from the nearby area with a special ‘reading passport’, and a sticker and little gift for each book they read. The youngsters from the library helped to make up a total of 1,250 children who took part in the challenge, the largest ever number in the 15 years the challenge has been run in Hartlepool

Heather Bellwood, the council’s children and young person manager, said: “Congratulations to all this year’s Summer Reading Challenge champions on their achievement - they have made this our best every year.

“The challenge is a great way of keeping youngsters entertained over the summer holidays but it also has much more important benefits. It helps children to maintain their reading level and their enthusiasm for books over the summer break, so they return to school keen and ready to learn.

“Cracking the challenge and winning a medal also really helps to boost their confidence and self-esteem.”

Presentations were also held at Throston Grange Library, Seaton Carew Library, Owton Manor Library and Central Library, in York Road. The challenge had a ‘creepy house’ theme which was complemented by a host of spooky craft sessions and activities at the libraries.