Manchester City Council

Councillor Sheila Newman

Our sympathies are with the family and friends of Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member for Children’s Services and current Lady Mayoress of Manchester, who passed away on Sunday.

Read our tribute.


Summer Reading Challenge gives thousands of Manchester children the reading bug

More Manchester children than ever completed this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, with books flying off the shelves of the city's libraries at an unprecedented rate during the long school holidays. 

More than 11,000 children joined the challenge, run by the Reading Agency in association with Manchester City Council, which aims to keep children aged from four to eleven reading for pleasure throughout the summer.

7,373 children completed the challenge by reading six books borrowed from their local library during the summer.  In total, 51,779 books were borrowed from Manchester libraries by children participating in the challenge. 

More than 200 activities were held in the city’s libraries over the summer, attended by more than 6,000 children.  The activities were supported by 59 “Reading Hack” volunteers, young people aged 13-14, who contributed 625 hours of their time to help make the events a success.

Local schools took part in Manchester's Summer Reading Challenge competition - with the schools with the highest percentage of pupils completing the challenge receiving prizes.

Didsbury C of E Primary School won a collection of books for their library, after 43 per cent of pupils completed the challenge.  

Another school among those to win prizes was Chorlton C of E Primary, where 29 per cent of pupils completed the challenge.  They were joined by "That Poetry Bloke", Craig Bradley, who spent the day in school, in celebration their achievement.

Citywide, libraries saw a major increase in schools taking part in the challenge and Manchester libraries have significantly increased their stocks, to meet the huge demand for children’s books. 

The Read Manchester campaign, run by Manchester City Council in association with the National Literacy Trust, has raised the profile of reading and increased links with local libraries for schools, leading to a significant increase in the number of school groups visiting libraries in the past twelve months.

Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “The success of this year's Summer Reading Challenge bodes really well for the future of our young citizens, who have clearly caught the reading bug early.  

“I’d like to thank our libraries team for all their hard work in making learning fun for local children through the fantastic range of activities hosted in our city’s libraries this summer."

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