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Big Summer Read aims to keep kids' interest in books going during the holidays

Mya, from Kells, getting ready for the Libraries NI Big Summer Read during a visit to Portrush East Strand Beach

CHILDREN and young people are being encouraged to delve into the wonderful world of literature this summer as Libraries NI launch their Big Summer Read.

The theme of this year's literacy initiative, which is aimed at those under 15, is Sea to Shore and it will be running in all 96 public libraries and 16 mobile libraries from July 2 to August 31.

Taking part couldn't be easier and it's free – you simply collect your activity booklet from your nearest library to get started. As they borrow and read books during July and August children will collect 12 special image cards to add to their booklets.

There will also be a wide range of events for all ages, including fascinating talks, animation workshops and storytime and crafts inspired by our rugged coastline, towering lighthouses and of course the sea.

"Libraries NI is committed to encouraging children to read over the holidays, as we believe that children who read during the summer are better equipped when they return to school in September. The Big Summer Read is one of our most popular initiatives and our libraries are always buzzing with excited children during July and August," says Jim O'Hagan, Libraries NI Chief Executive.

There are also a number of partner organisations on board this year offering brilliant incentives to get all the family involved. Great Lighthouses of Ireland is running a colouring competition to win a family break to stay in a lightkeeper's cottage at St John's Point Lighthouse, Co Down, as well as free child entry to Rathlin West, Fanad Head or Valentia Island Lighthouses for all those who complete the Lighthouse Quiz.

The Titanic Foundation is inviting Big Summer Read participants the opportunity to join an interactive storytelling tour on Titanic Slipways and National Museums Northern Ireland will be giving 100 lucky Big Summer readers a family pass to either the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum or the Ulster American Folk Park.

:: For further information about the Libraries NI Big Summer Read visit Librariesni.org.uk

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