A record number of 450 children signed up to this year’s free Summer Reading Challenge at Bude Library during the school summer holidays. 

The challenge encourages primary age children to have fun reading six books (non-fiction or fiction) over the school summer holidays. 

A spokesperson said: “Bude Library has a wonderful separate children’s area with a wide variety of books and helpful, friendly staff, which helped to make the Reading Challenge such a huge success.”

The theme this year was ‘Ready Set Read’ encouraging people to be active, “which really helped to engage local children” according to librarian, Kymble Eldridge.

Of the 450 sign-ups, 297 completed the challenge, but every book read is an achievement. 

In terms of completions, Kilkhampton Primary was the best small school having the most Key Stage 1 pupils (ages five to seven) finishing.

Stratton Primary was the best large school with most Key Stage 2 (seven to 11) pupils achieving their goal. 

The spokesperson said: “Well done to both schools who will each be receiving boxes of books.”

Participation in the Reading Challenge was rewarded with some mega prizes, generously donated by local businesses. Prizes included surf lessons, Slip and Slide sessions and book sets. The book sets were donated by The Reading Agency.

The spokesperson continued: “Every finisher also received a swimming voucher donated by Better Leisure, which was very popular. 

“Big thanks go to Rob Francis for helping with this.

“The events over the summer really captured the local imagination with support and involvement from Bude Football Club, Bude Toy Library, Sustrans Volunteer Ranger and Love Your Bike (bike repairs).

“Bude Library strives to provide free opportunities for the local community to access reading in a fun and inspiring environment. The Reading Challenge is one of many initiatives throughout the year. If you are not a library member, now is the time to join. It’s free!”

The library opens from 10am to 5pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from 10am to 1pm on Saturday.