Summer Reading Challenge

Children in Manchester have once again been invited to join in the free Summer Reading Challenge with Manchester Libraries which continues right up until September 16th. We launched this year’s Challenge with Councillors Hacking and Douglas and pupils from Acacias Primary at Central Library. This year’s theme is Ready, Set, Read! so children can exercise their minds and dive into reading with us. Amongst other activities, we worked with the Youth Sports Trust to provide bags of equipment for families to borrow and use to promote health and exercise, as well as giving away 25,000 free copies of Rebel Girl: Kick It through libraries and community groups.

Our libraries are brimming with new books about sports and sports heroes, but children can read whichever books or e-books they like, with the aim of reading six or more over the summer! The Summer Reading Challenge, devised by The Reading Agency, is aimed at ages 4-11 but there is also a special under 4s challenge.

In addition to children joining through their local libraries, 42 primary schools signed their children up to be automatically part of the Challenge, and receive their free joining materials through school.

More information about the Summer Reading Challenge, related free competitions and activities, including our Book Review competition can be found at our Manchester Libraries blog.

Holiday Activity Fund Activities

6 of Manchester’s Libraries ran free Holiday Activity and Food fund activities for 11-15 year olds this summer. A free lunch was provided to all children. The events proved really popular. They were varied, with children taking part in crafts, sport, science, reading, music, and even a visit to the Palace Theatre. Read more at our Manchester Libraries blog or there are stories on some of the events below.

HAF sessions at Central Library

Children at the Palace Theatre steps posing for the photo

Central Library staff arranged a variety of very engaging activities for young people, such as jewellery making, Manga drawing, science themed activities, learning football skills, as well as musical theatre workshops at the Palace theatre! At the Easter sessions, library staff asked the young people what type of events they’d like to attend in the future and were able to offer recommendations such as dance, theatre and football themed activities. All of the young people who attended had the opportunity to choose a free book too! Comment included:

“I liked seeing different parts of the theatre and learnt about the history of the Palace Theatre.”

“I love dance, I learned new games and it was fun!”

Craft Activities at Brooklands Library

Brooklands library staff arranged a full summer programme of craft activities for children and families, one of their most popular sessions included making monster plates! Children loved creating funny and scary monsters out of the plates and craft materials. Some families visited the library multiple times during the week to enjoy the various crafts and activities available each day.

Make Mine Manga workshops

Manga drawing of a boy punching the air and another in wearing a hoodie

During the Make Mine Manga exhibition library staff arranged two manga drawing workshops for 12-18 year olds, which delivered by Japanese Manga artist Inko Ai Takita. Inko shared her knowledge of Manga, Japan and creating manga characters. The workshops were so inspiring for the young people who were keen to create their own Manga and to understand how to become a professional Manga artist. Comments included:

“Loved it! Great to learn new techniques.”

“Inspired! So wonderful to listen to and learn from an artist. Inko was so engaging and enthusiastic. We loved the session. Thank you.”

South Asian Heritage Month at Arcadia and Gorton Library

South Asian Heritage Month was celebrated at Arcadia and Gorton Library with the very talented local artist Nayna Lad. Nayna delivered a lovely paper marionette workshop for children and families. Everyone, parents included, made a unique paper puppet and were very creative!

Alongside the activity, families talked about their cultural backgrounds and also learnt from Nayna about hers. At the end of the session, everyone played with the marionettes and finally waved one arm to say goodbye. Comments included:

“A perfect event for kids to explore their culture.”

“Great session, the children enjoyed it. Maybe next time we can have a puppet show?!”

Wythenshawe Games

Library staff and families reading a story book together in the park

Central Library staff visited Hollyhedge Park, Painswick Park and Wythenshawe Park  to deliver interactive ‘story and song’ sessions with a farmyard theme. Children got the chance to sing along, dress up and play along with the musical instruments and even make their own animal headbands. South Manchester Library staff also attended all three events to represent libraries. Staff held a fabulous library stall which delivered a range of fun craft activities, shared Read Manchester’s free books, whilst also promoting the Summer Reading challenge!

Book-Gifting Boost!

Manchester Central Library Development Trust, the charity that supports educational, cultural and archives work in Manchester Libraries, has secured £8,000 to support a new dual language book gifting initiative being developed by Read Manchester and Manchester Libraries. The grant, from the national lottery funded Community Fund, complements a recent £1,000 grant from the Our Legacy Fund, distributed by the We Love Manchester charity, to support the project.

User feedback from the successful book gifting programme demonstrated a real need for dual language books in community languages, and characters and settings which reflect the city’s diverse communities. Thanks to this new funding, over 1,000 new dual language books for young children, will be purchased and distributed across Manchester, specifically targeting those areas where there is a high ethnically diverse population, such as Cheetham Hill, Gorton, Longsight, and Harpurhey. Read more about the initiative here Book-Gifting Boost at our Manchester Libraries blog!

Saturday Spectacular with The Lowry!

Lowry staff member with the Gruffalo

The Lowry staff worked with Central Library to offer a fun event for families. Families had the opportunity to come face to face with the Gruffalo, learn how to be Zog the dinosaur in a drama workshop, join in the interactive storytelling or make different themed crafts! There was lots to see and do and also the chance to watch the Gruffalo, Zog, Stickman and the Smeds and the Smoos on the large screen! Comments included:

“There is so much magic in books, characters, such diversity, such lovely creativity, such a beautiful project. So much kindness to organise amazing events for kids.”

“Been a great day, thanks.” “The library is so much fun. It’s amazing.”

National Play Day at Longsight Library

Longsight library staff made plans to celebrate National Play Day, and this year’s theme was ‘playing on a shoestring’. Library manager Fiona and the team spent the weeks leading up to the event collecting a range of unneeded bit’s and bobs that might inspire young minds. On the day there were 40 children and 26 adults who were all getting stuck in together to make some beautiful creations from various and very random items available!

Ayza made a heart with flowers “because it looks like beauty”, whilst Hassan and Eseosa made a rocket and a castle, both with help from their mum. At the end of the day there were still some bits left over for a second session, which everyone hopes will be as much fun as the first!

Leveraging Change for Business Growth

Levering Change workshop - group discussion

Manchester Business & IP Centre continue to make great connections with a wide range of amazing entrepreneurs and were delighted to collaborate with Demilade Oluwasina and Peter Emms. No business is immune to change, Demilade and Peter recognise this and shared their knowledge at the BIPC by delivering a workshop to help SME owners appreciate, navigate and leverage change for business growth.

Participants had the opportunity to explore the benefits that changes can bring to their businesses by discussing them in groups. Participants were also introduced to a structured thinking approach and framework, which aims to help ensure the change process develops as smoothly and effectively as possible.