The buzz of books gets young readers in a spin

Councillor Cynthia Ransome, Cabinet Member for Communities, is pictured with five year-old Eddie Turner at the Summer Reading Challenge at Doncaster's Children's Library in Waterdale.
Councillor Cynthia Ransome, Cabinet Member for Communities, is pictured with five year-old Eddie Turner at the Summer Reading Challenge at Doncaster's Children's Library in Waterdale.
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ROLL up! Roll up!

Libraries across Doncaster are turning to the circus for inspiration in a drive to get the borough’s youngsters reading during the summer holidays.

The council’s libraries service is offering children across the borough what it describes as a summertime circus spectacle that will keep them reading throughout the holidays.

This month, the director of children’s services pledged more support for schools after Doncaster’s performance in English fell in primary school league tables.

The drop means youngsters in Doncaster are slightly behind the national average when it comes to reading.

But council bosses are keen to get more children hooked on books and have set up a scheme to try to encourage more children to get their noses into a good page-turner.

The Summer Reading Challenge is the biggest national reading initiative.

It runs in libraries throughout the summer holidays, with incentives, activities and events designed to create a real buzz around children’s reading.

This year’s theme is circus stars and it features a programme of circus skills alongside reading and poetry. Activities on offer at libraries include plate spinning and juggling.

Special events have also included balancing, tight-rope walking, unicycle riding and pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

The activities tie in with the Summer Reading Challenge, which encourages children in Doncaster to read six books throughout the holiday period.

They pick up rewards along the wa including stickers, a wristband and finally a gold medal and a certificate for the keenest young readers.

Coun Cynthia Ransome, cabinet member for communities, said: “We have already had a fantastic reaction to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

“As well as reading some excellent books, I understand that the children have had hours of fun attempting to spin several plates at once!

“All of these activities are completely free, which is good news for parents.”

Details of individual events in the summer reading challenge are available in borough libraries.