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All hands on deck for Pirate reading challenge 5 August 2008

Children taking part in the Family Library's summer reading scheme, Press Gang Pirates, are learning that a pirate's life might involve some elbow grease.

The scheme was launched in June with the assistance of Douglas lifeboat crew members and a record 215 young members of the Department of Education-run library in Westmoreland Road, Douglas, jumped on board.

Participants must steer their ships through the tricky waters of the Isles of Mann, negotiating such landmarks as Shark Island and the Silly Isle and passing such places as Craine’s Cove and MH Quays, to reach their destination and win the treasure at the end. Each book they read moves them closer.

As the event reaches its halfway mark, children are being asked to swab the decks of their cabins, also know as their bedrooms, and earn extra points for their crew as part of the schemes Crew Chase game.

Librarian Mary Cousins said:

'The children who registered for our scheme are really loving this year's theme of pirates and the fun challenges we're setting them.'

She said:

'Members are progressing very well with reading five books to complete the Reading Adventure and are really enjoying taking part in the Crew Chase race. We're making sure we're keeping our young pirates busy and they'll be making pirate portraits, skulls, flags and poems over the next few weeks. We'll also have a week for raising money for the RNLI, that we're really looking forward to, and having a Pirate Day when Lieutenant Governor Sir Paul Haddacks and Lady Haddacks come to the library on the 13th September to present certificates, pirate booty and prizes to all the children who took part in this year's scheme.
'What's most gratifying to staff here and parents is that the children are so keen and excited to visit the library, read and have fun.' Mary said.

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