West Norfolk libraries launch summer reading challenge

Launch of the Big Friendly Read project at Downham Market Library. 
Some of the youngsters, staff and volunteers who were involved in the event ANL-160718-080023009
Launch of the Big Friendly Read project at Downham Market Library. Some of the youngsters, staff and volunteers who were involved in the event ANL-160718-080023009

Children in West Norfolk are being encouraged to pick up a few good books this summer as part of a county reading challenge.

The Big Friendly Read programme, for children up to the age of 11, was launched on Saturday and aims to encourage children to read at least six books from their local library during the school holidays.

This year’s challenge is being linked with the centenary of the birth of Roald Dahl and youngsters of school age can collect cards featuring illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake from Dahl’s books, including a couple of scratch and sniff treats.

Pre-school children can also collect stickers for each book they look at.

Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council’s communities committee chairman, said: ‘We believe every child in Norfolk should have the chance to reach their full potential through education which maximises their talents and abilities.

“We want to encourage children and young people to continue practising those vital reading skills during the long summer holidays so that they are ready to learn and can hit the ground running when school starts again in September.

“Our Big Friendly Read is designed to be a fun and enjoyable way to increase children’s knowledge and open up exciting new worlds.

‘Parents, carers and grandparents can play a big part in this by providing encouragement and sharing children’s reading experiences.

“Our libraries also offer a helping hand with lots of activities to support the challenge over the summer and with Roald Dahl’s works having such wide appeal across all generations I think this year’s reading scheme should prove to be as popular with the grown-ups as with the children.

“After all, what could be better than spending the summer with one of the world’s best storytellers?”