Three Croydon children have been awarded prizes for completing an intergalactic reading challenge over the summer holidays.
Lewis Carter, and Jacob Searle, both aged six, and nine-year-old Jinal Patel, were each presented with a Kindle at an awards ceremony on Friday for completing the ‘Space Chase’ Summer Reading Challenge, an adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.
Nearly 2,500 children aged 4-11 signed up to the challenge, with 1,237 reading all six books, solving clues and collecting stickers to help a super space family track down books stolen by mischievous aliens, and entering the prize draw to win a Kindle, one of which was donated by Croydon-based global marketing engagement platform, dotdigital.
There was also an additional draw for Cinderella pantomime tickets at Fairfield Halls, which was won by six-year-old Lucas Smeed.
Those reading were also assisted by 136 volunteers, who gave 1,555 hours of their time during the summer holidays to complete the challenge.
The free challenge is a national initiative from The Reading Agency and encourages children to keep reading throughout the summer.
There was also a competition for under-16s to design a bookmark, which can be picked up by readers in all of the borough’s 13 libraries. There were five winners – Jared Thompson, 12, from Sanderstead Library, Sumaiya Anwar-Ali, 11, from South Norwood Library, Olivia D’Almeida, 10, from Selsdon Library, Jago Mascoll-Rouse, 10, from Purley Library and Suhana Raj, seven, from Central Library.
It was also announced at the presentation that there will be a Cinderella drawing competition, with children being asked to draw their favourite character from the popular pantomime. Children can submit their drawings to any library between 21 October and 15 November, with the winner having their drawing featured in the Cinderella programme.
“Congratulations, not just to all the winners but to everyone who participated in the Summer Reading Challenge and the bookmark competition. Thanks also to our amazing volunteers whose hard work and commitment helped make the challenge such a success.
“Space Chase was an exciting theme and I hope young people across the borough were excited by the books they read and continue their reading all year round at our libraries across the borough.”
Councillor Oliver Lewis, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Louisa Rahman, HR manager at dotdigital, said: “Encouraging children to read throughout their summer holidays isn’t easy, but this initiative really motivates children to read for fun which is great to see!”