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Young readers recognised with awards from First Minister

Almost 1,000 primary schools took part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

Pupils across Scotland have received awards from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recognising their reading achievements over the last year.

Almost 1,000 primary schools took part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge which aims to encourage children to develop a love of reading.

Around 300 children attended a celebration event in Edinburgh on Wednesday, with awards handed out in 17 categories.

Annette Street Primary School in Glasgow, where many pupils do not speak English as their first language, won the national prize for “school reading journey”.

St James’ Primary School in Renfrewshire won the prize for the most books read – 19,529 in total.

Ms Sturgeon attended a celebration event at The Hub in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

Following an evaluation of the first year of the challenge, reading charity Scottish Book Trust will expand it to secondary schools, libraries and community groups in the next school year.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I’d like to congratulate all the schools who have taken part in this year’s challenge. They’ve all worked really hard over the past year and demonstrated great enthusiasm for reading.

“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.

“I look forward to the next year of the challenge which will see even more people able to take part from secondary schools, libraries and community groups.”

The awards recognise inspirational work to promote reading and develop a reading culture in schools across the country.

Sam Howarth, acting principal teacher at Annette Street Primary, said: “It is wonderful to see public recognition for the hard work of our children, many of whom do not speak English as their first language.

“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.

“Our reading journey at the school is just beginning and we have many more reading adventures planned for the future.”

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