On Saturday 8 October at around 9.20am, there was a large crowd of excited children with their parents and carers gathered outside the Odeon Leicester Square, waiting for the doors to open. All the children had been invited to a special screening of Disney/Pixar’s ‘Cars 2’ because they had completed this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, ‘Circus Stars’.
The children were welcomed by the Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Westminster, who delivered a short speech congratulating the children on thier achievement, and thanked both the Odeon Leicester Square and Disney Pixar for their continued support, which for many years now has made this annual celebratory event possible.
Over 2,500 children joined the challenge in their local Westminster library and 1,300 completed the challenge of reading 6 books or more. Over 8,200 books were borrowed from Westminster Libraries and read by the children taking part. Not only did they enjoy reading the books, but many may have avoided having the ‘summer dip’ in literacy levels that many children experience over the long break from school.
For the first time people were asked to volunteer as Summer Reading Mentors this year, and there was a fantastic response, with over 90 people volunteering – over 80 of whom were under the age of 25! They were fantastic – spending nearly 2,000 hours helping to deliver the challenge and being ‘reading ambassadors’ in the community.
As ever this was a great event, the children thoroughly enjoyed the film and the experience and are already looking forward to taking up the challenge next year… and another trip to the Odeon Leicester Square.