Youngsters can’t wait to get their hands on bargain books for £1

BIG READ From left, Billy Fairbairn, Titiya Dampha and Kelan Moore at Warren Park Primary School, Leigh Park.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (120895-727)
BIG READ From left, Billy Fairbairn, Titiya Dampha and Kelan Moore at Warren Park Primary School, Leigh Park. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120895-727)
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YOUNGSTERS are busy snapping up hundreds of books after their school decided to sell them for just £1 each.

Up to 184 books are bought by boys and girls every Tuesday at Warren Park Primary in Leigh Park, which is on a mission to line shelves at home with a range of interesting reads.

Headteacher Colin Harris, who has overseen numerous reading initiatives including Christmas book giveaways and raffles, is thrilled with the high number of book sales.

A year ago, he conducted a survey that revealed 19 per cent of Warren Park pupils didn’t have a single book at home.

Today tells a very different story, with every child owning at least one book of their own – and clamouring to buy more.

Mr Harris, who is backing our Read All About It campaign to boost reading, said: ‘We’ve been giving away books as a reward for everything, from good attendance to reading at home.

‘Now our children are taking ownership of their reading – they are choosing their own books and they are paying for them out of their own pockets. It’s fantastic.’

Jasmine Hitchins, 10, buys new reading material at the school’s bargain book fair every week.

She said: ‘I like collecting books by a specific author. At the moment I’m enjoying Jacqueline Wilson books.

‘It’s brilliant that we can buy a book to keep for just a pound. I’m reading more now than ever before.

‘When I’ve finished my books, I’ll share them with other people who I hope will like them as much as I do.’

Lucy Norrie, 10, added: ‘I love reading books to my sisters at home, and it’s nice having a lot to choose from.

‘When I buy my own books I look after them better.’

Mr Harris is in constant contact with publishers and booksellers to stock up his book fair.

And yesterday, he launched the Great Book Challenge – which involves hearing all 420 pupils reading three pages each in a week.

He said: ‘It’s been non-stop, but great fun. Reading is not just about the children – we’re all in this together.’

To join our campaign visit portsmouth.co.uk/news/campaigns/read-all-about-it or email aline.nassif@thenews.co.uk