Book relay a great way to help Hannah

HELP Mum Cathy Crook with pupil Talia Mellor-White, five.  Picture: Malcolm Wells (121032-7737)
HELP Mum Cathy Crook with pupil Talia Mellor-White, five. Picture: Malcolm Wells (121032-7737)

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CHILDREN enjoyed a literary take on relay races when they spent a whole school day reading and passing batons to raise hundreds of pounds for charity.

The ambitious readathon at Hart Plain Infants involved the entire 236-pupil population and raised £600 in sponsorship for Hannah’s Holiday Home, which supports severely-ill children.

Boys and girls took turns reading with a volunteer for five minutes before passing a baton to their classmate – from 9am until 3.15pm non stop with a break for lunch.

Tia Richardson, seven, chose to read Michael Rosen’s collection of poems Something’s Drastic.

She said: ‘I felt very excited and a bit nervous as I wanted to do it well.

‘The poems are so well written and funny, and I read to the end of one before I had to run back to the classroom and get the next person.

‘It was a great day and I feel very proud that we raised so much money for charity in such an interesting way.’

Ryley Arnold, seven, said: ‘It was a fun race and I wanted to read as many pages as possible in one go.

‘I chose a book that was a bit easy for me so I could speed read – and I managed six pages in five minutes.

‘I loved the idea that we were reading as part of a competition because it made it fun, and I feel so happy because we supported a great charity.’

Friends of Hart Plain Infants, who chose the charity set up in memory of Waterlooville girl Hannah Westbrook who died from cancer, helped out with the reading and time keeping.

The school has a history of exciting fundraisers including chocolate tombolas and sponsored bouncy castle bounces and football shots.

Head Ruth Kenny said: ‘I’m incredibly proud of the children, they threw themselves into the challenge.

‘There was a real sense of excitement but they stayed calm and focused, because they wanted to make a difference.

‘For me the big reward was seeing everybody take part and work together to come up with such a large sum of money to help others.’

The News is running the Read All About It campaign to boost literacy across the region.

To find out more visit portsmouth.co.uk/news/campaigns/read-all-about-it

or email aline.nassif@thenews.co.uk