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A SPACE-themed summer reading challenge at libraries in Warrington was an “out of this world” success – with a record number of youngsters taking part.

Library operators LiveWire says the annual campaign by the Reading Agency – which ran from July to September – saw an almost 20 per cent increase in youngsters completing the challenge compared to last year.

They were the best-ever figures for Warrington’s libraries.

The mission was for children to read up to six library books over the summer – fiction, fact books, poetry, joke books, picture books, audio books – everything counted towards the challenge.
Young readers earned rewards every time they finished a book, with everyone completing the challenge receiving a certificate and medal. For younger children there was a separate Under-5s challenge. There was also a prize draw at each library for one of their participants to win a Space Chase book bag.

Libraries also held a number of space-themed activities and events to further celebrate the event.

All together this summer:
* 2,009 children in Warrington took part – up 11 per cent on last year and 28 per cent up on 2017.
* 1,033 children finished the challenge – up 19 per cent on last year and 20 per cent on 2017.
* 9 young people volunteered a total of 58 hours supported the challenge– compared to seven young people and 53 hrs last year.
* 137 children joined a library to take part, up 57 per cent on last year
* 280 youngsters took part in the Under 5s challenge – up 21 per cent on last year and 36 per cent in 2017.
* Penketh Library had the most children taking part with 338.
* 17 children took part in the challenge at the summer scheme in St Elphin’s Park.

This year’s results are even more impressive given that Stockton Heath Library was closed for redevelopment for the duration of the challenge – however LiveWire ran a library provision for south Warrington from Broomfields Leisure Centre allowing youngsters in the south of Warrington to take part.

Chris Everett, LiveWire senior community librarian, said: “We have had a busy summer in libraries with a great activities programme and so many children joining in. It was really exciting to see such an increase in the numbers taking part in the challenge so we are delighted to see the best ever set of results. It is brilliant that children are finding great books that fire their imagination and are being encouraged to love reading. It really was an out of this world summer!”

For more information on Warrington’s LiveWire-run libraries and the wide range of activities on offer visit