A successful summer of reading in Manchester

05 Nov 2018
Dennis

The Read Manchester campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust has contributed to another successful year of the Summer Reading Challenge.

The Challenge asked pupils aged 4-11 to read at least six books over the school holidays to help prevent a dip in reading engagement that can occur over the summer. This year the challenge was based on the theme of Mischief Makers to celebrate 80 years of The Beano.

Thanks to the Read Manchester campaign's relationships with libraries and schools, 45 schools in the city heard about the challenge through a class assembly or an invitation to their local library. In total, more than 5,000 children in the city completed the challenge and almost 39,000 books were borrowed from Manchester libraries by children taking part.

The school that achieved the highest number of pupils completing the challenge was Cavendish Primary School in Didsbury, where an impressive 21% of pupils read the minimum of six books. The school will now receive a visit from author of Dinopants, Ciaran Murtagh.

Read Manchester contributed to the hugely varied programme of activities that complemented the Summer Reading Challenge, with its Bee a Reader Challenge and creative writing competition, which received almost 300 entries and asked pupils to describe a day in the life of a Manchester bee.

There were more than 270 activities held in Manchester libraries, which were attended by a total of 6,500 children. The activities were supported by 'Reading Hack' volunteers (young people aged 13-24), who gave up 944 hours of their time to make the initiative a success.


The Read Manchester campaign also called on partner organisations to champion reading over the summer. This included the National Football museum, who encouraged children to celebrate the World Cup by creating their own football flag, and Dogs Trust, who brought dogs into libraries and explained the work they do in rescuing and caring for dogs. Fallowfield, North City and Gorton libraries worked with Fare Share to hold Read and Feed sessions and help combat holiday hunger while promoting the Summer Reading Challenge.

One parent said of Read Manchester's programme of activities:

‘This is the way to encourage children [to take an interest in] education, books and reading. Thank you for all your help in making my child love coming to the library. It has now become a habit that she will enjoy all her life.'

Zohaib, aged eight, who attended a virtual reality session, said:

'I loved it so much, I could do it one million times.'

Find out more about Read Manchester.