If children love reading they have everything in their reach, says MP, as his book campaign goes into its fourth year

Steve Barclay, MP for NE Cambs, with children at Mepal and Witchford Primary School to inspire them

Steve Barclay, MP for NE Cambs, with children at Mepal and Witchford Primary School to inspire them to a love of books in the Read to Succeed campaign. Picture:IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Children are being encouraged to love reading as part of a campaign celebrating its fourth year,

Read To Succeed, spearheaded by MP Steve Barclay, has had hundreds of books donated since the idea was launched in 2016.

As a result, libraries say they have seen a 51 per cent increase in children coming to libraries to take part in their summer reading challenge.

Mr Barclay said: “Reading regularly and reading for fun can open new worlds, new ideas and new possibilities for children.

“Thanks to the kind donations from local businesses and the community, enough money was raised to buy 2,500 books. One for every Year 4 and Year 5 child in the constituency.

“It is now time to look ahead to next summer and our fourth year of the scheme.

“The Read to Succeed Campaign started in 2016 after teachers raised with me the difficulty of encouraging children to read through the summer holidays.

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“It gives Year 4 pupils a book of their own to keep to start the summer reading, with those who then complete the local library summer reading challenge entered into a prize draw, including free cinema tickets and free swimming.”

Louise Lomax, head teacher of Mepal and Witcham Primary School, said: “We really appreciate the Read to Succeed Campaign, our children love receiving a book and it motivates them to read throughout the summer.”

Mr Barclay is running the scheme again through June, with the support of partners including the Bishop of Ely, local primary schools, libraries and The Cambs Times.

“A big thank you to all the local businesses, councillors and residents who have supported us so far,” he said.

“Author, journalist and philosopher William Godwin, born in Fenland, once said, ‘he that loves reading has everything within his reach’ and for me this rings true.”

In the back of every book donated is a library token which each child can take to their local library to take part in the reading agency’s summer reading challenge.

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