Oldham libraries have announced it's 'time for stories to come alive' again as its popular summer reading challenge returns and a raft of free activities for youngsters.

With the school summer holidays upon us, Oldham Council's libraries and The Reading Agency have joined forces once more to encourage young people across the borough to become "reading superstars".

Throughout the six-week break, there will be a series of free events and activities for four to 11-year-olds to get involved in, keeping their minds and bodies active while having fun.

Participants who sign up to the challenge and read six library books over the summer will collect stickers and rewards while those who finish will receive a certificate and medal to take into school.

It is hoped the task will allow youngsters to explore new reading material, develop new skills and discover new interests.

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'StoryFest' has become a reality thanks to sponsorship from Kajima and Infrared while further support from The National Literacy Trust has facilitated donations of books from British Land, so children can take home a free copy of one of the author's books.

Here is a taste of what's in store:

  • Sign up to StoryFest from July 13, 11am to 3pm at Oldham Library or any other library across the borough 

Youngsters participating in the challenge can sign up for free and meet with StoryFest authors, including Oliver Sykes, Marie Bastings, Jo Lindley and Salma Zaman at Oldham Library.

Participants will also be encouraged to become a 'marvellous maker' and get creative by taking part in a competition to design Oldham Libraries' new environmentally friendly library card.

The winner will receive a voucher to Summit Up.

  • Weekly community library activities at libraries across the borough
  • Oldham Parish Church, Saturday, July 13, where young people will be making music 

The Oldham Music Centre summer music festival starts at 10am, promising live performances from brass bands to guitars, orchestras to rock bands and choirs to wind bands.

  • Celebration day, September 7, at Oldham Library where there will be more fun activities to celebrate the summer reading challenge success

Councillor Peter Dean, Cabinet Member for Thriving Communities and Culture, said: “Our Summer Reading Challenge is a great, fun and free way to help young people with their reading over the six-week holidays.

“From previous years we know that those who take on the challenge really benefit and it shows when they return to school in September.

“The reading challenge can also help introduce families to our superb libraries so they can explore the range of books and services available all year round.”

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