The Nidderdale Plus column with Helen Flynn

This summer's Reading Challenge for children is called 'Space Chase'.
This summer's Reading Challenge for children is called 'Space Chase'.

It is always an exciting time of year when we get news of the theme for the Summer Reading Challenge for children. This year’s theme, “Space Chase”, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, which happened in July 1969.

Children can read whatever they like – fiction, fact books, poetry, joke books, picture books, audio books – just as long as they are borrowed from the library.

You need to register at one library, but you can borrow books from other libraries during the challenge, as long as you go into the library your registered at to claim your rewards along the way and certificate at the end.

Children receive special rewards each time they finish a book and there is a certificate for everyone who finishes the challenge. The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all primary school-aged children and is designed for all reading abilities.

We are holding a special summer holiday space-themed activity for children aged 4-11 on Tuesday, August 6 between 10.30am and noon. Book a place by getting in touch with Nidd Plus and come along for space-themed crafts games and stories.

Pre-schoolers get in on the act too

A new development for this year is that pre-schoolers can also join the scheme.

So please bring in your pre-schoolers as well, and sign them up. It is quite OK to simply read to your children at this age, or simply let your toddlers leaf through picture books. The important thing is for them to be engaging with books, and building up their familiarity with handling books and learning what a wonderful source of fun and information they are.

Targets smashed!

Over the past years, we have done well here at the community library in Pateley Bridge in exceeding our target of the number of 4-11 year-olds who start the challenge.

Our target in both 2017 and 2018 was 65, and we almost doubled that in both years!

But we want 2019 to be the best year yet, so please do come along with your children and sign them up to the scheme. You can sign them up from 13 July, all the way through the summer holidays until the challenge ends on 7 September.

Story time

In addition to the Summer Reading Challenge, we also run a weekly story time session here at Nidd Plus library.

This free reading session for little ones is held in the library every Wednesday, hosted by one of our lovely volunteer readers, with fun, colourful floor cushions for children to sit and listen on.

Pop in to the library at 10.30 am with your child/children to join the fun for this half hour session.

It’s for everyone!

And don’t forget, our community library is for everyone, young and old alike.

So if you just want to wander in, take a seat in a comfy chair, and, for example, read the Nidderdale Herald (no charge), you are free to do so. Our library books are changed regularly so there are always new titles to browse through on our shelves.

Our library is run mainly by a wonderful team of volunteers and there is always space for more, so if you are interested, do get in touch with us, either by email: admin@nidderdaleplus.org.uk, phone: 01423 714953, or just pop along to have a chat with us.

We hope to see you soon, and look forward to welcoming children of all ages, in particular, during the summer months.