Literacy and creativity celebrated at Summer Reading Challenge prize-giving event

Young readers and creative children were honoured at a special event following a summer-long competition aimed at encouraging reading.

Youngsters’ reading often dips during the school summer holidays, so the Aberdeenshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to read as they receive a sticker for each book they read and a book after completing six or more.

There is a creative challenge as well. This year children were given the task of designing their own bookmark of their choice. Four-year-old Harvey won the creative challenge 0-4 year-old category with his colourful Mr Men-themed bookmark; Amelia, aged 8, was successful in the 5-8 year-old section with an entry which depicted her love for reading and 11-year-old Lavena took the honours in the 9 and older group for her design which said ‘a book isn’t just pieces of paper, it’s a key that opens a door to secrets of the world.’

Star readers from across Aberdeenshire were also awarded prizes at the event in the Council’s Woodhill House headquarters on Saturday, October 6. Three winners were selected from each branch library, then an overall Aberdeenshire winner and two runners-up were chosen from the local prize winners.

Cllr Anne Stirling, Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee chair, said: “It has been a delight to observe the creativity and passion for reading shown by the winners of the creative challenge. I am also hugely impressed with the children and young people who have been honoured as star readers. I hope they have discovered how enjoyable it is to pick up a good book. Books not only boost learning but provide an escape to a world of fun through children’s imaginations.”

Committee vice chair, Cllr Iris Walker, added: “Many congratulations to the winners of the creative competition and to our star readers. Once again the Aberdeenshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge has proved highly successful. I would like to thank the Aberdeenshire Libraries and Information Service for once again running this fantastic competition which really does make a difference in encouraging children to read.”

There was a talk by Emily Dodd, a screenwriter for CBeebies science programme Nina and the Neurons. She has written and presented science shows for the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the Scottish Seabird Centre, Edinburgh University, National Museums Scotland and Our Dynamic Earth. There were also breakout sessions and a demonstration of a 3D printer.