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Young minds urged to embark on reading adventure

By Claire McNeilly

Libraries NI has launched its Big Summer Read and is encouraging children to reach the Moon this summer via books.

From next month each child will get a stamp for every book they read - taking them one mile closer to the Moon.

There are almost 300 free events planned as part of the celebrations in libraries across the province from July 1. Valerie Christie, senior children's services manager with Libraries NI, said children can hop on board this year's Big Summer Read by collecting their travel card in a local library or from a mobile library.

"The mission of Libraries NI's Big Summer Read is for all children in Northern Ireland to read over the holidays, as we believe that reading for pleasure can boost educational outcomes and children who read during the holidays are better equipped when they return to school in September," she said.

"It is free to take part in the Big Summer Read and it is a great way to keep children entertained during the holidays while encouraging them to read." With the theme this year being transport and travel, libraries will hold a range of free related events throughout the summer including story times, craft sessions and workshops.

Some larger libraries will welcome the Armagh Planetarium with its Stardome, Ireland's only portable planetarium, offering children a very unique and exciting way to learn about the night sky and their place in the universe.

Libraries NI hopes that at least 238,855 books will be read this summer, which is the number of miles from the Earth to the Moon.

For more information on the Big Summer Read and free activities, call into a library or visit

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