We believe reading transforms lives. This Libraries Week, we're looking at how libraries play a key role in encouraging children to read. We went to Abraham Moss Library in Manchester to hear from children and their families how the Summer Reading Challenge has empowered their reading.
4 year-old Abeeha lives with her mother, Noreena. This is her first year taking part in the Challenge.
How many books have you read this year and what have you been reading?
Abeeha: Five books already. I've read all sorts.
And have you always used the library regularly?
Noreena: Before, I'd go to the town centre to Central Library, because during that time this library was closed. So, when I found out this library had opened, we came right away.
We came inside and she chose her books and Abeeha said, "I want to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge," because she loves to read. She chooses her own books and she's read seven this summer.
What has taking part given you as a parent over the summer?
Noreena: You know, sometimes in the summer vacations, the parents still need to do some work so it can be a big challenge for parents. But I focus on her activities, her sports and her books. She just reads herself or I read story and she listens. But now we've started the Summer Reading Challenge there is big improvement. She now sees the pictures and makes a story in her mind.
So you see a difference in her imagination?
Noreena: Yeah. When I ask her about the books, she'll tell me about the shapes and colours and starts making her own stories from the pictures. It's a big improvement.
Ariba and Aamna's story
Ariba, Aamna and Faisal live with their mother Aisha in Cheetham Hill.
Is this your first year doing the Summer Reading Challenge? What do you think about the theme this year?
Aisha: They've been taking part every summer for about four or five years now, ever since they started reading.
Aamna: I like the theme because sports is fun and good for getting people to read.
And what do you like about being in the library?
Ariba: I like being in the library because there's lots of books and there's fun activities that I can do. I get to come and read new books. I love reading and I love being challenged.
Aisha: My children, they love reading. Because of Covid, they closed the bigger library and they were very upset, because the smaller library a lot less books. When this library [Abraham Moss Library] opened, they were so excited to come the first day and they were like, "yay, new books!"
The Summer Reading Challenge actually helped them a lot to stay motivated because they know they're going to get the certificate if you read a set amount of books.
Aamna is so excited to get the certificate and the medal. Every year she gets it, but every single time she gets new one, she gets more excited. Even though she has loads of medals at home. But every year is a different year.
Has the Challenge helped them to try new kinds of books?
Aisha: Yes, it helps them to try different books. They try small books and big books and then review them - some they find very boring and others they say are amazing. It challenges them.
Each year the Summer Reading Challenge motivates over 700,000 children of all abilities to read for enjoyment over the summer holidays. If you would like to support us in helping more children to discover the joy of reading, you can donate here.