Notts pupils learn to 'love' books after sponsored read

Children from Burntstump Seely Church of England Academy in Arnold
Children from Burntstump Seely Church of England Academy in Arnold

More than 1,000 primary and secondary school children across five schools in Nottinghamshire launched head-first into tales of unfortunate events, wizards and hungry caterpillars.

Five of the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Multi-Academy Trust schools, including The Samworth Church Academy and St Peter’s Church of England Primary Academy, both in Mansfield, are supported the children’s literacy charity, Read for Good, with a two-week sponsored read.

The children were sponsored to read anything and everything – from comics to classics – with 20 per cent of their sponsorship total funding books for their own school libraries.

The rest is used by Read for Good to support its work bringing books and stories into all of the UK’s 30 main children’s hospitals, including the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.

Justine Daniels, Read for Good’s chief executive, said: “Learning to love to read as a child is one of the greatest things you can do.

"For some children, Readathon is the spark that inspires a lifelong love of reading and for many more, it’s a fantastic way to reinforce and revitalise reading habits.

"Mass Readathons are a brilliant opportunity to bring a community of schools together in a shared love of reading and the schools have really embraced this in a fantastic way.”

Read for Good’s sponsored read has been running in schools since 1984, motivating millions of children to read for pleasure.

The academy trust is only the second Diocese Academy chain in the country to unite its schools to run a mass Readathon.

St John’s C of E Academy pupil Latif Jammeh, aged 8, said he thought everyone should spend more time reading.

He said: “I am reading ‘Aru Shah and the end of time’ by Roshani Chokshi at the moment.

“It is about a character who is the daughter of a god, the god of lightening and it is a really good story. I like to read in bed and do it every night.

"Reading is good because it makes you smarter and takes you to a world of imagination. I would say that you need to read because it is very important and helps you to learn new things and it’s fun."

Jo Saville, operations manager for the trust said: “It is a great way to excite and motivate children to read for pleasure.

"As a trust, we already focus on the teaching of early reading and encouraging children to really enjoy and embrace this vital skill.

"This is also an area which the new Ofsted framework pays particular attention to as crucial in raising educational outcomes.

"So, our schools are delighted to find new ways of inspiring young readers and couldn’t wait to take part!

"The wonderful loop of SNMAT children reading to help provide books and storyteller visits for children in hospitals across the country, and particularly in our own Children’s Hospital at Queen’s Medical Centre, is a fantastic extra incentive to take part.

"We’re thrilled to join the effort and proud to be the second Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust in the country to run Readathon in this way.”