Almost 2,400 entries were received as youngsters across the borough, aged 0-16, took part in the Reading Rollercoaster during the summer holidays.

They borrowed books from one of Darlington Libraries’ two branches, in Crown Street and Cockerton, and then entered their details into a draw to win a fantastic prize.

The winners’ names were then drawn at random.

Councillor Jon Clarke welcomed the lucky winners to the library for a prize presentation on Friday (17 September).

He said: “It’s great to see so many children took part in this year’s Reading Rollercoaster which aimed to set them a challenge to help boost their reading skills during the summer.

“It’s been even more important this year as education and literacy skills have taken a dip during the pandemic.

“Reading books as a family helps prepare children for the return to school and helps younger children develop their early language skills.

“I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all our winners 

and a thank you to everyone who took part, including our guest storytellers who appeared on the Library’s Facebook page, they were brilliant.

“I’d also like to say a special thank you to our dedicated library team for organising this event and for keeping library services going during what has been the most extraordinary circumstances.”

The list of prizes and the winners are:

Nintendo Switch - Lucy Jones, 11

Fitbit watch – Jonathan Simpson, 13

Harry Potter Lego set, Chamber of Secrets – Joshua Donnelly, 11

Harry Potter Lego set, Hogwarts Express – Nathan Lee, 10

Dolphin Centre Bowl tickets – Ayush Jajur, 9

Head of Steam annual pass – Roisin Mucahy, 4

Pantomime tickets for Darlington Hippodrome – Jessica Hutchinson, 10

Batman Scooter – Rori Rowell, 4

Princess Scooter – Nancy Kirkup, 3

Giant soft bunny – Thea Naisbitt, 4

Projector light – Isabella Herron, 3

Owl Lite – Jack Wilson, 4

Paddington soft toy – Cody Glazier, 2

Paddington soft toy – Caleb Hotton, 1

As part of this year’s challenge library staff also arranged a series of online Facebook story times to inspire children and families to read and share books over the summer holidays.

Many local people took time out and visited the library after hours, including panto star Zoe Birkett, Cllr Jon Clarke, Peter Gibson MP, several head teachers from local primary schools, Durham Constabulary’s Chief Constable Jo Farrell and the talented Julian Cound from Darlington Operatic Society.

They were videoed sharing a book to camera and we then asked if children would like to create their own video of themselves reading a book to camera from one of our colourful story benches.

There were a number of entries and two winners were chosen at random and won a book voucher each.  

The winners were Ryan Cooper, 8, and Lexi-Rose Hagan, 1.

To find out more about the range of resources at Darlington Library and details of online events/activities on the website.


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