A new pilot scheme at Fallowfield Community Library will provide free lunchtime food and reading activities for children throughout the summer holidays
Read and Feed will run every weekday until the end of August, with support from Manchester Libraries and local volunteers.
Thanks to the initiative, children aged 4 – 11 years will be offered a free, nutritious lunch, after taking part in activities held to support the Summer Reading Challenge at the library.
Families can drop into the library, based at the Place at Platt Lane, every weekday to enjoy storytelling sessions, reading, craft and Lego activities from 11.30am – 12:30pm, with lunch provided for participating children from 12:30 – 1pm.
Manchester council aims to roll the Read and Feed scheme out to more libraries across the city next summer. Similar initiatives have previously been adopted elsewhere in Greater Manchester, by libraries in Rochdale, Salford and Bolton.
Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “The Read and Feed scheme is another way in which libraries, with the help of dedicated local volunteers, can help local children to reach their full potential. Taking part in Summer Reading Challenge activities is fun and encourages reading for pleasure from an early age, so this is a great chance for children to feed their minds, as well as enjoying a healthy lunch.”
Rob Willis, Centre Manager at the Place at Platt Lane, said: “Read and Feed is a great new addition to the brilliant range of activities on offer for local children at Fallowfield Community Library, which will really boost local participation in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
“I encourage any residents who are keen to support Read and Feed, or the many other activities on offer here, to drop in and find out more about how they can give something back to the local community, while also improving their CV and making new friends, through volunteering.”
The Summer Reading Challenge, delivered by Manchester Libraries in association with The Reading Agency, aims to keep children reading through the long school holidays. Nearly 6,000 Manchester children took part in the Challenge last year.
Children can sign up at their local library and will receive a free Challenge pack. This year’s theme is Animal Agents, with Manchester libraries presenting special collections of animal books and stories – but children can choose to read any six library books they like over the summer holidays.