The mayor of Bicester and his wife visited the town’s library to present certificates to young volunteers.

Councillor Harry Knight and Mrs Lorraine Knight presented the team of volunteers – made up of eight secondary school girls – with certificates for spending their summer holidays working on the Summer Reading Challenge at Bicester Library.

The girls received an award in recognition of the scheme’s positive impact on local primary school children.

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The Summer Reading Challenge is a national scheme led by The Reading Agency. It is a programme rolled out by libraries to encourage primary school age children to read books and nurture a love of reading.

Darius Welch, who works at Bicester Library, said: “This scheme develops the children’s reading skills to help them at school, and there is research that indicates it greatly improves their life outcomes.

“The volunteers’ role is to guide the children through the challenge over the summer months and to motivate the children to read and develop their love of books.

“The team of volunteers we have this summer have shown a high standard of professionalism and I have been impressed with their dedication and conscientious attitude when talking to the children and their parents.

“They had to display conversational skills, organisational skills and motivational skills, which they have done extremely well.

“Especially considering they are young people. It has been a pleasure to see them work and I am very proud of them.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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