Young bookworms go the extra mile with a costume read-a-thon

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YOUNGSTERS dressed as their favourite literary characters and held a sponsored read-a-thon to mark World Book Day.

Schools across the area celebrated the day, including staff and pupils at Havant Academy.

.'Hayden Benford (11), left and Ryan Rock (12)

.'Hayden Benford (11), left and Ryan Rock (12)

A group of 12 students took part in a 10-hour read-a-thon.

The sponsored event raised money to buy more books for the school’s library.

Year 7 pupil Hayden Benford, 11, said: ‘It’s good because not a lot of people nowadays take much notice of books.

‘Reading broadens your imagination. My aim is to read 20 books in one day.

‘It’s good because I love reading and we’re trying to make other people love reading as well.’

Ryan Rock, 12, also in Year 7, said: ‘It’s good and fun.

‘My friend and I used to have competition to see who could read more words.’

Holly Light, 13, is in Year 8 and dressed up as The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

She took part in the sponsored read.

‘I wanted to do it because I like to read books. I thought it would be a good task to complete,’ she said.

‘When you read a book you are taken to another world and you can ignore everything around you.’

Samantha Ridge is the literacy co-ordinator at the school.

She said: ‘We’re dedicated to reading here and we promote reading for pleasure quite enthusiastically.

‘Every day students read for 20 minutes.

‘We encourage them to have their own books and make their own choices about the books that they read.

‘For us it’s vitally important.

‘Reading opens up a multitude of skills and it’s important for our students to have that access to reading.

‘It’s so important to celebrate the work of authors and the time and effort that’s gone into writing a book.’

Children’s author David Gatward will be visiting the school today to run workshops.

Meanwhile, at St John’s Primary School in Gosport, students have been dressing up and taking part in different events such as story telling, writing, and creating art work based upon their favourite books.