Exotic animals join thousands of children on summer challenge - there’s still time to take part

Exotic animal at Central Beds Libraries workshop, run by Animal Edutainment
Exotic animal at Central Beds Libraries workshop, run by Animal Edutainment

More than 4,300 children have already signed up to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge at Central Bedfordshire libraries - and there’s still plenty of time to join in.

All 12 libraries are running the challenge, which asks children to borrow and read any six library books over the summer, until September 5.

The challenge has a new theme each year and this year, it’s Record Breakers, thanks to a partnership with Guinness World Records.

To take part in the challenge, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library. They’ll receive a special poster, and as they borrow and read at least six library books over the summer, they collect stickers to complete their poster and discover fascinating facts about record breakers as they go.

Central Bedfordshire libraries launched the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge with animal handling workshops run by Animal Edutainment and attended by nearly 500 children. Libraries in 140 authorities across the UK also celebrated the beginning of the challenge by encouraging local families to take part in a world record attempt, for the most pledges received for a reading campaign.

The nationwide total of almost 80,000 wasn’t quite enough to achieve the record but everyone had plenty of fun in the process and the celebrations were attended by hundreds of families.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge has always proved hugely popular over the years and it’s pleasing to see that, with more than 4,300 children already taking part, its popularity is as strong as ever in Central Bedfordshire.

“There is still another month left of the challenge so I would urge the parents of those children yet to sign-up for this free activity to get involved at any Central Bedfordshire Library. It’s easy to do and has been shown to boost confidence, self-esteem and a love of reading, as well as helping to keep them engaged during the summer holidays.

“There’s a whole programme of events and activities planned at Central Bedfordshire libraries for families over the rest of the summer to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge. Due to popular demand, Animal Edutainment and their exotic animal handling workshops are returning for a mini tour. There are also many craft and record breaking events. Just contact your local library or go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/libraries to find out how to take part.”