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Pupils read all about it

By Lisa Smyth

Hopefully, they will see newspapers are more than news but can offer fun, information and entertainment

The Belfast Telegraph today launched its Reading Week Bonanza across schools in Belfast and in the North West.

The Reading Week, in association with The Progressive Building Society, will see thousands of children being issued with their daily copy of the Belfast Telegraph, as well as a four-page tabloid of newspaper activities.

This tabloid has been designed to enable teachers to spend as little or as much class time on them as they want.

Responses to the activities are written on the tabloid and so can be done at home as well as in school.

Jennifer O'Reilly, Newspapers in Education executive said: "The aim of the week is to encourage children to read newspapers. Hopefully, they will see that newspapers are more than just news but can offer fun, information and entertainment as well.

"In the past teachers have commented on how much the children enjoy doing the activities during Reading Week while at the same time developing their reading skills.

"A new element of the Reading Week activity tabloid is the inclusion of a Design an Ad competition.

"Thanks to The Progressive Building Society, exciting prizes are on offer including Start up children's savings accounts worth £50 to the overall winner and £20 to each of four runners up. There will also be book tokens for the winner and the winner's school library.

"We are delighted that so many schools have taken up the offer in what is a very busy time of year.

"We hope the teachers and pupils will enjoy the week's newspaper 'read-in'. We are also grateful to the Progressive Building Society for their support."

The Reading Week Bonanza is the latest educational initiative offered to schools by the Belfast Telegraph.

Earlier this year, pupils at a Portrush school enjoyed the trip of a lifetime to Belgium where they experienced a hands-on introduction to European politics, thanks to the Belfast Telegraph.

St Patrick's Primary School - which was one of 316 Ulster schools and almost 15,000 pupils who participated in the Belfast Telegraph's Eurolearn project - was selected at random to travel to Brussels.

The weekly educational programme was designed to be used by schools throughout Northern Ireland and culminated in an all expenses paid three-night trip to Brussels for one of the schools which took part in the scheme.

Explaining why they got involved in the readnig week, Sidney Towe, operations director with Progressive Building Society, said: "As a mutual building society, Progressive is delighted to support the development of such a useful cognitive skill as reading in such a fun way.

"You are never too young to learn the value of reading.

"Nor are you ever to young to start saving and we are hopeful that, through the medium of the Belfast Telegraph's Reading Week, children might be encouraged to open one of our Start Up accounts and start investing in the future."

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