Happy faces a the Kilkenny Library Service's Summer Stars Reading Challange Celebration with Reuben from RTE Junior PICTURE: PAT MOORE
The magic of storytelling through reading was at the heart of Kilkenny County Library Service’s Summer Reading Challenge which, despite the good weather, attracted over 1,200 youngsters to the libraries in the city and county, an increase of 24 per cent on 2017.
The culmination of the annual challenge was held over two Saturdays in The Springhill Court Hotel, Kilkenny with six comedy shows delivered by RTE Junior’s Reuben to hundreds of delighted children.
The national summer reading challenge for 2018, “Summer Stars” ran through July and August in libraries across Ireland, with children challenged to read eight books each.
Various incentives such as bags and stationery and notebooks were awarded to children to keep up the momentum.
The challenge was taken up by 1,260 children in Kilkenny, a record and a sign that our libraries are working hard to attract youngsters.
Over the past five years, numbers completing the challenge have tripled with this year being the biggest ever success.
This initiative is part of a national Right to Read Campaign, which actively supports and helps improve literacy.
Research has consistently shown that reading ability can drop by up to three months during the holidays, which puts children at a disadvantage on their return to school.
This challenge encourages children to maintain and improve their reading skills in a fun way over the holidays, and helps ensure that the school term success of children, parents and teachers is not reversed.
“We are blown away by the continuing success of this programme,” said County Librarian, Josephine Coyne .
“We are delighted to see so many children and families making the time to develop a love of story reading and using their local library to find stories that they enjoy,” she added.
“This is a simple and cost effective means of encouraging reading skills and improving literacy skills among children and we would encourage children all over the county to visit and use their local library,”she said.
“It is one of the best free resources for their minds that they have on their doorsteps,” she said.
Membership of Kilkenny County Council Library Service is free for all.
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