Pupils at Rosh Pinah Primary School in Edgware received £5,000 RRP worth of books after topping the leaderboard in a competition that saw 200,000 children across the UK try to read as much as possible over a month. Councillor Brian Gordon and Councillor Sarah Wardle joined the celebration in the school assembly with staff and pupils on Monday 11th June 2018.
The 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge, from award-winning education charity, Achievement for All, and leading bookseller, Book People, engaged children and young people with reading while they collectively read 100,019,560 minutes in schools, early years settings, homes, libraries and community groups throughout Britain.
However, it was pupils at Rosh Pinah Primary School who came out on top after reading the most minutes over the month of March, placing them ahead of any other participating school. They received their £5,000 RRP worth of book titles from Book People at a celebratory in-school event where challenge mascot Milli the Millipede joined Achievement for All representatives in congratulating the winning staff and pupils.
Speaking about their achievement, Headteacher Jill Howson said: “I am overwhelmed and extremely proud of all of our pupils who worked so hard during March to do as much extra reading as they could whilst participating in the 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge! Out of thousands of schools, we came first place!”
Librarian, Katie Presser who led the school’s involvement in the 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge, said: “At Rosh Pinah we promote "Reading for Pleasure" on a daily basis and I am delighted that as a whole school working as a team, we achieved such an amazing result.”
Adding their congratulations, Sarah Walden, Group Buying & Merchandising Director at Book People, who sponsored the challenge said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see that so many children have taken part in the 100 Million Minutes Reading Challenge this year. To see such dedication across the country is truly remarkable and we are proud to award £5,000 RRP worth of books to Rosh Pinah Primary School. We hope that these books continue to inspire and captivate these budding readers. Well done to everyone who took part in this incredible initiative.”
As part of the 100 Million Minutes initiative, exciting events and activities including reading power hours and a Q&A with Hollywood actor Lennie James have been taking place across the month – all with the aim to inspire children and young people to read more regularly and understand the possibilities that literacy can unlock.
Functional illiteracy costs the UK economy £36 billion a year, with one in four working-age adults struggling to read and write, according to the latest report from the World Literacy Foundation. Research from the Fair Education Alliance also revealed that that up to three in five children from socio-economic disadvantage leave primary school in this country without achieving the expected standard of reading, with the effect on their self-confidence and job opportunities long-lasting.
Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO at Achievement for All – the charity that heads-up the initiative and works to improve outcomes for all children and young people who are vulnerable to underachievement said: "Literacy levels are one of the greatest drivers of social inequality in the UK today. It is unacceptable that so many children and young people feel their potential is being thwarted because of their background or circumstances.
“We are delighted that so many schools, parents, carers and community groups across the UK have taken part in our reading challenge and joined the campaign to build a fairer society by engaging young people with literacy. Imagine what worlds have been explored and possibilities unlocked in 100 million minutes of reading? Rosh Pinah Primary School really have lead the way here and I urge everyone to think about how they can support the children in their communities to become lifetime readers, achieve and lead happy lives long after the challenge has ended.”