The number of books read by Hampshire children during the school holidays has been out-of-this-world, with over 174,000 being read as part of the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge – 73,500 more than in 2018.
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: “Well done to everyone who took part and finished the Summer Reading Challenge. It’s been fantastic to see children getting into the spirit of all things connected to space, primarily through reading, but also with crafts and activities in branch and online over the last two months.
“The fact that last year’s record for the number of books read has been well and truly exceeded, shows that young readers are confidently and regularly accessing books in a variety of free formats – paperback, electronic and audio.”
The Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at 4 to 11-year olds. The Challenge is to read any six books over a two-month period, from mid-July to mid-September with a focus on the benefits of finishing the challenge and improving literacy skills over the long summer break.
This year, the theme was Space Chase to acknowledge and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing by the Apollo 11 crew. It captured the imagination of 25,710 children who signed up at one of the County Council’s libraries.
Councillor Woodward added: “Our staff and volunteers really pull out all the stops in terms of support and enthusiasm to make every Summer Reading Challenge a success – my thanks go to them.”
Each of the 15,973 finishers received a gold medal and certificate in recognition of their achievement, with some libraries holding finisher celebration events.
Hampshire Library Service will be running its own Winter Reading Challenge later this year.