I had a really lovely event to attend recently - presenting the prize to the winner of the Torfaen Summer Reading Challenge 2017. I was asked earlier this year if I'd supply the prize through the Mayor's budget and I was happy to do so; getting kids reading is such an important agenda, if a difficult one to crack.
What made the presentation extra special was that the winner was from my old school, Maendy Primary. (Okay, I went to a few primaries, but Maendy was the best!) Marianna is now attending playgroup there, and I'm currently the vice-chair on the school governing body. So, as you can imagine, it was lovely to go along to an assembly and hand over a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
The library service told me that they don't tend to get many entries from Maendy, so hopefully seeing Anita win the star prize will encourage more pupils to take part next summer!
The South Wales Argus covered the story on December 12th:
The winner of a summer reading challenge has been announced by Torfaen council, after a record-breaking number of participants took part in the scheme. Maendy Primary School pupil Anita Arshi, six, was drawn from the 547 children who completed the challenge by the Mayor of Torfaen, Cllr Jessica Powell.
More than 1,000 children from the borough took part in the challenge, which sets the task of reading six library books or more during the school holidays. It is a national scheme run by the Reading Agency, aiming to encourage children to read for pleasure and maintain their reading skills during the summer break.
Animal Agents, the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge, was based on a detective agency staffed by clever animals who are out to crack a case at the library.
Cllr Alan Jones, the executive member with responsibility for libraries, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a lot of fun and is a great way to get children reading more. More children completed the challenge than ever before, and it is fantastic to see so many children getting excited about books and reading.”