Saturday 14 September 2013 was the day the Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge officially came to an end in our libraries. To mark what has been an extremely successful Creepy House Challenge, a party was held in Kensington Central Library. Selected children – who had completed the challenge by reading a minimum of six books over the summer holidays – were nominated by staff in our six libraries to receive personally addressed party invitations. We could tell how eagerly children wanted to come due to the prompt replies by email and phone saying how thrilled children were to have been chosen to attend the party.
Admittance to the party was through a special entrance, where we were waiting to welcome guests with a Creepy House sticker and a goodie bag and to direct them downstairs to the Lecture Theatre. We were touched to see so many of the children proudly wearing their completer’s medals and clutching their invitations. One guest couldn’t wait to let us know that her mummy had opened her invitation by mistake! The same guest agreed that it’s nice to receive letters in the post.
When the guests had arrived and were seated, the entertainment began. A storyteller from The Freshwater Theatre Company entertained everyone present for an hour with his lively and interactive performances of ‘The Fearsome Giant’, ‘The Cedar Tree’ and ‘The Cracked Pot’. Children were chosen to participate in the different stories by climbing onto the stage and becoming one of a variety of characters; we had knights, archers, wrestlers and a variety of trees. The children had props to help bring their characters to life, and some children even contributed actions e.g. shaking knees when the Fearsome Giant roared!
It was heart-warming to see parents with a mixture of love, pleasure and amazement on their faces while watching their child happily performing. After an enthralling hour and a rapturous round of applause, it was time to welcome The Deputy Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Councillor Sam Mackover to the stage. The Deputy Mayor was pleased to show his support for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge by giving a short speech in which he congratulated the children for completing the challenge, and led everyone in a round of applause to thank all library staff and the team of wonderful volunteers who all contributed to the success of Creepy House Challenge. There was also a round of applause for staff and the volunteer who worked together to create such a successful party.
After such a memorable afternoon, the party ended with guests being given a limited edition Creepy House bag, a bear and book of their choice on leaving. We were pleased that the party, which turned into a real family affair, was a success. It was lovely to receive positive feedback from parents about how their child had reached a milestone by participating and completing the challenge and now have a love of reading.
Hopefully children who completed the challenge this year will continue to enjoy reading and may even join Chatterbooks, our monthly book group for children!
The Creepy House party team