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Keen readers win the chance to be zoo keepers for the day

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A number of children who finished an animal themed Summer Reading Challenge were given the chance to spend a morning as a zoo keeper at Walton Gardens in Warrington.

Peter Cookson-Dean, the resident zoo keeper, showed the children the ropes at the zoo. They were given the chance to clear out the goats stable, feed the goats and look after the ferrets.

A total of 1628 children, aged 5 to 12, across Warrington took part in the challenge. A separate challenge was also put on for under 5s, with 185 youngsters taking part.

Both challenges encouraged them to read six books over the course of the summer holidays, with all those that accomplished the challenge receiving a certificate and medal for their efforts.

The free challenge is a major literacy campaign, which encourages primary school children to keep reading throughout the summer holidays. It’s run by libraries across the country in partnership with the Reading Agency.

Chris Everett, senior LiveWire advisor for reading, said: “We had a fantastic response to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge with more children completing the challenge than in previous years.

“We have also seen the long-lasting effects of the challenge, as more than 100 children who signed up have now joined the library and kept on reading.”

LiveWire hosted a range of animal themed activities during the summer holidays to coincide with the theme.
Chester Zoo visited a number of libraries to run a series of workshops to support children to learn more about nocturnal creatures or African animals.

Express Arts also brought their popular Day of Discoveries workshop to various libraries during the challenge, giving children a chance to participate in craft and drama activities.

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