A RECORD-breaking number of young bookworms have been commended for completing a national reading challenge.

Organised by the Reading Agency, This year’s Summer Reading Challenge, titled ‘Mischief Makers’ to mark the 80th anniversary of the much-loved children’s comic, Beano, saw a total of 2,315 children start the challenge - with 1,702 going onto complete it by reading six books from their local library over the summer. This is the highest ever amount of participants to complete the challenge in St Helens, 71 up on last year, with a whopping 10,218 books read in total.

The Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Cllr Pat Ireland and Lynn Glover, were on hand last week to present certificates to the children who completed the 2018 challenge which was delivered with the help of 13 new young volunteers and resulted in 317 young people joining the library service.

Twelve lucky readers who completed the challenge were also entered into a prize draw to Knowsley Safari Park.

Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Council’s portfolio holder for libraries, said: “For this year’s Summer Reading Challenge to attract a record number of children and young people in St Helens shows how popular it has become over the years.

“Reading is such a wonderful gift that should be encouraged from an early age, for it can only have only positive effects on a young person’s development. That’s why the council will continue to support initiatives like the Summer Reading Challenge as it brings our future generations into public libraries, introducing them to the fascinating and creative world of literature.”

If you are aged 12 to 19 and would like to volunteer, call 01744 677486, or email KathrynBoothroyd@Sthelens.gov.uk

To find out what other events are planned in libraries over the coming months, visit sthelens.gov.uk/libraries and click the ‘What’s on in libraries’ section.