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The sky's the limit for dales reading champ

[Saturday 03 March 2007]

A NEWFOUND love of literature has taken a Yorkshire Dales woman to unexpected heights.

Two years ago, Alison Stamper from Northallerton, would never have thought to read for fun. But this week, she was treated to a memorable trip on the Norwich Union Yorkshire Wheel - courtesy of the National Railway Museum - after emerging victorious in a countywide reading challenge.

Everyone who's taken part in this campaign deserves to be applauded

Chris Metcalfe - County Councillor

As part of a national campaign run by the BBC, staff at North Yorkshire County Council's library and information centres have been encouraging adults with basic reading skills to pick up a book and start enjoying a good read.

Readers taking part in the 'Six Book Challenge' kept a diary of each book they borrowed from the library and received small prizes - such as goody bags or free loans of a CD or DVD - for each book completed.

Library staff have reported excellent feedback from participants, with adult readers commenting that they have really enjoyed taking part - and most intending to go on reading and using the library.

Councillor Chris Metcalfe, North Yorkshire's executive member with responsibility for community services, said: "Everyone who's taken part in this campaign deserves to be applauded - they're all living examples that it's never too late to learn.

"Not only has Alison won a fantastic day out in York, but more importantly, she has earned a wonderful new hobby which will abide with her for a lifetime."

Evette Freeman from Pickering scooped second place, winning a BBC goody bag containing two Quick Read books and a £5 shopping voucher.

Anyone looking for an incentive to brush up on their reading skills can take part in phase 2 of the Six Book Challenge which is currently underway and will run until September when there will be another big prize draw.

Anyone interested in taking part should ask for details of the Six book challenge at their local library or they can contact June Scatchard on 01609 533800 or email libraries@northyorks.gov.uk

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