Pupils at a Norfolk school are celebrating after winning a prize worth £1,000 for doing one of their favourite things... reading books.

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Andrea Hassan, the librarian at Old Buckenham High School, heard about a campaign run by the Siobhan Dowd Trust, a trust set up by award-winning author Siobhan Dowd shortly before she died, to encourage the joy of reading and to help provide books to young people.

In January, the trust launched a campaign to find out what was done in schools to spread the joy of reading. The competition ran until the end of the summer term and got hundreds of submissions.

A judging panel, chaired by Michael Rosen, met recently to decide which schools had the most vibrant school libraries and the most imaginative ideas to encourage reading. Ten schools were chosen to win the prize of £1,000 of books.

Old Buckenham High School was praised for the innovative ways in which staff nurtured a love of reading.

Mrs Hassan said: “We have such fun thinking up ideas to capture the imagination of the children and we all enjoy the activities that make reading books a popular thing to do. I am passionate about reading, so it has been wonderful to see the children so excited by books.

“Our Reading Star Awards encourage children to read at least 25 books a year with badges, certificates and prizes for everyone, but we don’t leave the staff out as they take home teen fiction in the holidays and share their opinions with students when they return.”

The trust is making a database of all the best ideas so others can copy and pass on activities that work.

To find out more about some of the activities which won Old Buckenham High School its prize, visit www.siobhandowdtrust.com

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