Reading challenge could inspire you and change your life
By Bronwyn Wilson, 17, a young businesswoman from Hull who has completed 12 Summer Reading Challenges ...
I FIRST came across the Summer Reading Challenge when I was just four years old and still at nursery.
I loved books and libraries – there's loads of cool things to do in libraries and activities to get involved with for young people.
The Summer Reading Challenge has always been really good fun and I loved going to Hull Libraries and looking at their huge range of books.
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The Summer Reading Challenge runs in public libraries all over the UK each summer.
Each year its challenge to children is simple. They are encouraged to read six or more books of their choice during the school summer holidays with collectable incentives and rewards such as stickers, plus a certificate or medal for every child who completes the challenge.
Children can sign up at their local library from the end of June onwards, and it's all free.
There's a different theme to the challenge each year.
This year's theme, is Story Lab – I won't spoil the surprise – and there's also an interactive website at www.story-lab.org.uk
I loved doing the Summer Reading Challenge so much that I did it right up to the age of 16.
I've discovered some of my favourite books while doing the challenges. Not only does it encourage reading fiction but you can find non-fiction books, too.
I've always been interested in science, art, crafts, cooking and architecture, so any interests you have you can find out more about at the library while doing the Summer Reading Challenge.
I still have all the medals from the 12 Summer Reading Challenges I've done. It was one of my favourite parts of the summer.
I have always loved reading. I can use my imagination to put myself inside the book, become the characters, see what they see, hear what they hear.
I would always encourage children and teenagers to use all the facilities the libraries have to offer, as they are really great places.
You can do so many different things, from finding out how to cook, learning to play guitar, to renting a DVD and finding the next internet craze, so it's definitely not geeky.
Being in my local library doing the Summer Reading Challenge over those 12 summers also helped me to realise libraries aren't just about books – they've got loads more to offer, too.
Because the library is such a great place to get ideas, it led me to set up my own accessories business, Crazy Critter World.
I make funky cushions, artwork, badges and brooches, mobile-holders, bags, etc, and I sell my designs through local Hull shops as well as in York and Beverley.
I've also made many business mascots for many well-known Hull-based businesses. E-mail me for more info at email@example.com
So if you're looking for something to do across the long school summer holidays, why not try the Summer Reading Challenge? It could change your life for the better. It did mine and now I'm Hull's Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
I've set up my own business, got to meet and work alongside lots of well-known people and businesses, and I'm working alongside Claughton's at Melton, who have given me access to a free office and mentoring.
It's all down to taking time to read the fab books on offer at my local library, which inspired my creativity. It could do yours too!
For more Summer Reading Challenge information, ask at your local library or visit www.story-lab.org.uk or www.summerreading challenge.org.uk – There is still plenty of time to get involved.
To find out more about all that your local library in Hull has to offer, visit www.hullcc.gov.uk or call 01482 300300.
For more information about all the different activities and events taking place across the city this summer, check out the council's website for children and young people, www.cluedupinhull.com