The Bradford Council’s Libraries Summer Reading Challenge achieved remarkable success this year, engaging over 3,000 children aged 4 to 12.

This free annual reading initiative, developed in collaboration with The Reading Agency, strives to encourage more children to read during the summer school break, a period traditionally associated with a decline in children’s literacy skills.

Throughout the summer holidays, children in the district were encouraged to borrow and read a minimum of six books, with rewards for each completed book. They also participated in numerous activities and events in libraries, aligning with this year’s theme, Ready Set Read, centred around sports and games.

A notable achievement was recorded, with over 1,600 children successfully completing the entire challenge by reading six or more books—a 10% increase compared to the previous year.

The challenge featured 116 activities and events that attracted a total of 3,102 children and 1,979 adults, marking a significant 93% rise in participation from 2022. Notable events included a visit from children’s author Tom Palmer, workshops with the National Science & Media Museum, the Council’s Museums and Galleries Service, Bradford Park Avenue Football Club, the University of Bradford, and drama performances with actor Robin Simpson, Mud Pie Arts, Same Difference Arts, along with support from various partners and organizations.

During the summer reading challenge period, a substantial 72,500 books were loaned to children aged 4 to 12, surpassing the previous year by over 20,000 books. Furthermore, 835 children became new library members, reflecting an impressive 126% increase from the previous year.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “This year’s sport and games-themed Summer Reading Challenge was a great success and I’m delighted that we are providing a good incentive for children to start reading and use their libraries over the summer holiday period.”