Kids embrace reading challenge as holidays are spent with a book

(left) Rhys Clifford (nine), and his brother Joshua Clifford (five), take part in the News Read All About It summer reading campaign at Fareham Library. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (122779-3)
(left) Rhys Clifford (nine), and his brother Joshua Clifford (five), take part in the News Read All About It summer reading campaign at Fareham Library. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122779-3)

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IT might be the school summer holidays but that hasn’t stopped children getting their heads stuck in a good book.

The summer reading challenge – run by Hampshire County Council – has proven to be a big success.

The scheme, which sees children reading six books over the holidays to win a medal and a certificate, encourages them to keep up their reading when not at school.

It ties in with The News Read All About It campaign to boost literacy across the area.

At Fareham library, 1,110 children have already signed up. And 159 of them have already completed the challenge.

Assistant library manager Ashley Adkin said: ‘It’s about encouraging the children to read.

‘They come in and tell us about the books that they have read. The emphasis is on it being fun and enjoyable. We aren’t there to test them on it.

‘It’s important because it gets them into reading.

‘It gets them started from a young age as well which is very important.

‘It’s not just the fiction books, it’s the non-fiction books too. That opens them up to a whole new world of information.

‘They seem to get enthusiastic about the books they are reading.

‘It’s been a roaring success across the county.’

Luca Southall, who turns four in November, has already completed the summer reading scheme.

His mum Sarah, 31, from Whiteley, is a teacher at Stamshaw Infants in Portsmouth.

She said: ‘It’s really important. We read a book every night before he goes to bed. He enjoys it.

‘He knows he’s reading the books for a challenge for a reason.’