The annual summer reading challenge for youngsters has begun with a spooky theme that is certain to get the kids interested in books over the summer holidays.
The national scheme, run by The Reading Agency, runs until September 7 and is designed for children aged four to 11 years of age.
There will be related activities, including a ‘Creepy House Zoolab’ event, in which children can handle creepy animals and learn all about ecology.
Last year’s challenge saw a promising rise in library membership among youngsters. Each child is challenged to visit the library four times and read at least six books over the summer.
Councillor David Brown, cabinet member in charge of libraries, said: “We are delighted to be once again supporting the national summer reading challenge within our libraries.
“Each year, it gets more and more popular with children and parents and helps keep children amused and makes reading fun.
“Last year, we had an extra 200 children join the library as a result of the challenge. It’s great getting feedback from the children at the awards ceremonies in September and I’m looking forward to seeing which books proved popular this time round.”
Research shows that taking part can contribute towards preventing a dip in reading motivation and attainment which can be common over the summer holidays.
Partnership with local schools, parents and carers is important to the success of the scheme and Cheshire East library staff visited 61 primary schools.
Library staff and volunteers then spend time talking to the children about their book choices and the children are given incentives to encourage them to carry on reading.
A medal and certificate is awarded to those who complete the challenge at a special ceremony in September, attended by councillors and local VIPs.
Last year 4,748 children in Cheshire East joined the reading challenge, with 2,774 completing it.