Primary 4 pupil, Eden McKinnon, from Scotstoun Primary in Glasgow was given the award for P4 Pupil Reading Journey and pupils from Annette Street Primary was given the award for School Reading Journey – National Winner by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the ceremony celebrating the second year of the challenge.
A total of 17 prizes were awarded at the celebration event for the First Minister’s Reading Challenge which took place at the Hub in Edinburgh on Wednesday (20 June). The challenge also created an opportunity for every participating child's personal achievements to be recognised by their teachers and librarians with personal certificates and other resources.
The First Minister's Reading Challenge was launched in 2016 for Primaries 4 to 7 and following the success of the first year was expanded to include all Primary age pupils. Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, delivered this exciting reading initiative on behalf of the Scottish Government and every school in Scotland was invited to take part. This year almost 1000 schools, from 29 local authorities, registered for the challenge.
Reading has the power to transform lives, and developing a love of reading in childhood can have a huge impact on educational attainment and future wellbeing. The First Minister’s Reading Challenge encourages children to read for pleasure and develop a life-long love of books. The awards recognise the efforts of schools and pupils to support reading for enjoyment and create a reading culture in their school, home or community.
Eden was awarded the P4 Pupil Reading Journey prize in recognition of her fantastic submission which demonstrated clearly her changed attitude to reading over the course of the term and her newfound love of books.
Pupils at Annette Street Primary were named national winners of the School Reading Journey in response to the dedication they showed to tackling the barriers to reading for pleasure through imaginative, practical initiatives which engaged parents and the local community as well as staff and pupils. They were an example of a school who made everyone feel part of their reading culture.
The First Minister said: “I’d like to congratulate all the schools and pupils who have taken part in this year’s challenge. They’ve all worked really hard over the past year and are a credit to their local communities.
“Raising attainment is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s work. That is why I launched the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – to encourage reading for pleasure from an early age which in turn, helps improve children’s literacy.”
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Reading for pleasure boosts children’s creativity, mental well-being and performance at school and beyond, and is one of the most important things we can instil in children. These awards recognise some amazing work from schools and pupils who have shown a real commitment to building and sustaining a reading culture.”
Commenting on Eden’s award Harry Stewart, Class Teacher said: “Eden was inspired to enter the challenge following various literacy initiatives at Scotstoun Primary which give children opportunities to read for pleasure as well as offering inspiration about, what they read. Our Family Learning Clubs have played a major role in supporting children's reading and writing this year and Eden enjoyed learning about making a Stop Motion movie at the iPad club and created her own to illustrate her reading journey this year. As a school we are very proud of her achievement!”
Commenting on their award Sam Howorth, Acting Principal Teacher at Annette Street Primary said: “We are delighted to have taken part in the First Minister's Reading Challenge and it is wonderful to see the hard work of our children - many of whom do not speak English as their first language - recognised publically. We have come a long way already this year in improving our reading culture by running book clubs, refreshing our library stock and using real life experiential learning to promote reading in context - but our reading journey at the school is just beginning and we have many more reading adventures planned for the future.”
Following the success of the second year and the expansion to include lower primary, the First Minister's Reading Challenge is being extended further and at the beginning of the new term the challenge will be open to secondary schools, libraries and community groups.
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