Reverend reads 1,000 books in 1,000 days - inspiring youngsters to read the final 100 with him

PASSIONATE reader Sean Blackman has speed read 1,000 books in just 1,000 days - inspiring school pupils as they joined him for the final 100 tales.

Thursday, 18th July 2019, 4:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 5:45 pm
Rev Sean Blackman with some of the books he's provided for Grange Infant and Junior schools. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Revd Blackman took on the challenge in 2016 and has read the Bible, classics from Charles Dickens and Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

But to inspire youngsters he dressed as famous fictional characters including the Hungry Caterpillar and the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk.

The 57-year-old minister at Gosport Freedom Church said: ‘I just want to encourage children to get into the habit of picking up a book.

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Reading coordinator, Tara Johnston, and Rev Sean Blackman with Grange Infant School pupils who received certificates for reading 100 books in 100 days. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘As well as being educational, I found the challenge both fun and relaxing. We need to get books into children’s homes before they even start school.

‘Since becoming a school governor three years ago I have wanted to encourage more children to read.

‘There are so many other distractions today such as iPhones, kindles and computers. I read a whole range of books including Dickens classics and War and Peace.’

Pupils at Grange Infant School did 100 books in 100 days while the junior school did 10 books in 10 days. Revd Blackman is a governor at the schools.

Grange infant school pupils, Lly 7, Marlee 7, Sam 6, Leah 6, Charlie 5 and Nathan, 6, at the school library with their favourite books. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Year 2 pupil Lly Street, seven, said: ‘My favourite book was Cindy Ella as it was really funny.

‘I really enjoyed the challenge and have now read over 200 books this year. Getting better at reading helps me with my writing and other subjects.’

Classmate Marlee-May-Robertson, seven, added: ‘Harry Potter is my favourite book. Books help me to learn new words which I can then use in my own writing.’

Sean took on the challenge after becoming concerned about the amount of reading being undertaken by children.

Tara Johnston supported the children as reading coordinator

She said: ‘Literacy is the cornerstone of everything. Without being able to read then children can’t access the rest of the curriculum.’

Co-headteacher, Leiza Harris, said: ‘Sean has encouraged the children to support him by setting them a reading challenge of their own and the children have been inspired to read for pleasure.’

Sean, from Gosport, raised £1,000 which he invested in providing new books for both schools.