AWARDS have been presented to libraries, schools and pre-school groups who made exceptional contributions to Bradford Council’s annual Rhyme Challenge.

More than 3,500 families successfully completed this year’s challenge in 300 childcare library settings, a 75 per cent increase in uptake.

Run by the district’s Libraries and Early Childhood Services, the challenge set children under five and their families the task of learning five rhymes.

Ninety-two per cent of parents felt that the challenge had increased their child’s speech and language development, while every member of staff and volunteer felt it was beneficial to the families they worked with.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Keighley councillor Abid Hussain, presented the awards, the speaker was Christina Gabbitas, poet/author and winner of the Yorkshire Women of Achievement Award 2016.

Keighley Library was runner-up in the Best Practice Libraries award.

The Airedale and Wharfedale Children’s Centre Cluster was a runner-up for the Children’s Centre award, while its volunteer Jessika Osborne was nominated for Best Practice Individual.

Nominations for the Best Practice Setting award included Highfield Pre-School,Our Lady of Victories Primary School, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and Strong Close Nursery School.