HUNDREDS of youngsters are being encouraged to get their heads stuck in a book as part of a News-backed reading project.
The scheme is called The Reading Passport.
If the children are enjoying what they are doing they will continue to readCouncillor Peter Edgar
It aims to help Key Stage 2 pupils aged between eight and 12 to improve their reading skills and foster an interest in the world around them.
The News has teamed up with CMC International and The NEWS Foundation to launch the project.
Children taking part will each receive a Reading Passport – a pocket-sized booklet containing 15 exciting and educational activities.
Young bookworms will also get a copy of The News each week for six weeks plus a certificate of achievement at the conclusion of the project.
Councillor Peter Edgar is in charge of education at Hampshire County Council and said he is fully behind the scheme.
‘I’m absolutely delighted to see this,’ he said.
‘When it comes to learning to read, the key thing is enjoyment. If the children are enjoying what they are doing and motivated to learn then I believe they will continue to read.
‘The evidence shows that these days they will continue to read books which in some ways is becoming old-fashioned in terms of turning the pages of a book.
‘This is a motivational scheme and I support it.’
Councillor Neill Young is in charge of children and education at Portsmouth City Council.
He said that the scheme is a good way to get children to read on a regular basis.
‘We want to encourage children to read as much as possible,’ he said.
‘This is a fantastic initiative which will make reading fun for young people and will encourage them to read every day, which we know has a positive impact on young people and their education.’
Some of the classes taking part in the project will even feature in The News.
The reading passport, which costs £2 per student, is being offered to all primary schools in the area. But numbers are limited.
More than one class per school can take part.
The final deadline for schools to register is Friday, April 1.
To sign up, e-mail your school and class details with the number of participating pupils to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line The News Reading Passport 2016.