Author helps out

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THIS WEEK IN 1993: Nursery school for all three-year-olds

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SHE’S a wizard with words and helps encourage children to read.

Now children’s author Ali Sparkes is set to inspire youngsters to learn beyond school hours.

The Hampshire-based author has been appointed Chancellor of Havant Children’s University.

The scheme launched last year and offers children between seven and 14 after-school learning activities such as cookery.

Each time a pupil hits a target of 30, 65 or 100 hours of learning, they receive bronze, silver and gold certificates at a graduation ceremony.

Ali said: ‘I was delighted to get involved because I am all for any initiative which encourages kids to get out and do stuff.

‘After-school activities are hugely important in personal development.

‘They help our children to grow into healthy, happy, successful adults.’