Oulton Broad library helps over 100 children finish reading challenge

Staff from a Suffolk library threatened with closure earlier this year, have been celebrating after helping over a hundred children complete a 21-year-long annual reading challenge.

Oulton Broad Library welcomed parents, grandparents and children to the presentation event yesterday, which saw participants of this year's Summer Reading Challenge collect certificates and medals for their hard work.

Over 7000 children in Suffolk took part in the national event coordinated by The Reading Agency, with 119 children completing the challenge with Oulton Broad library.

Manager Diane Moore, explained how the event works. She said: 'This year the challenge was called Circus Stars. The aim of it is to get children to read six books from their library during the summer holidays to encourage children to keep up with their reading over the summer.'

The free event is designed for children of all ages and reading abilities and they can read any books they like. Children then get one to one time with library staff or a volunteer to talk about what they have read. They also collect rewards and incentives along the way including bookmarks and stickers.

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Grandparent Sandie Walker, 57, lives in Oulton Broad and has helped her three grandchildren, Louis, eight, Grace, five, and Jessica-Daisy, five, complete the challenge.

She said: 'The children loved taking part in the reading challenge and they have done really well. It especially helps the younger children and helps with their confidence. The staff and volunteers here have been really helpful.

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'It is also a good community thing too and helps to support the library. We did try really hard to keep the library open and we even came down here to help campaign.'

Suffolk county councillor Mike Barnard also attended the ceremony to present the medals and certificates. He said: 'It's an added encouragement to get them to read and to get the parents and grandparents involved.'

Mr Barnard added that every effort will be taken to make sure the library stays open after divestment plans earlier this year rocked communities that could have seen their local libraries close. It was part of Suffolk County Council's plans to save �2m as part of its New Strategic Direction.

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