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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

First Minister’s Reading Challenge Expanding beyond Primary Schools

More young people will be able to get involved in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge as it expands to include secondary schools, libraries and community groups.

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is delivered through Scottish Book Trust, funded last year with £1.6 million from the SNP Government.

With each of its 50 primary schools already taking part in the challenge, North Ayrshire is one of only two local authorities with 100% participation across Scotland.

An evaluation of the programme’s first year found that 76% of pupils who took part in its first year now read more. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP said:

“Raising attainment is at the heart of the SNP Government’s work and reading for pleasure from an early age helps to develop children’s literacy. That is why I launched the First Minister’s Reading Challenge and I’m thrilled it has received such positive feedback from schools, teachers and pupils.

“I want to ensure the Reading Challenge continues to grow and positive impact positively on children so I have accepted all of the recommendations of the Reading Challenge Advisory Group which are based on the evaluation and look forward to another successful year of reading.”

Kenneth Gibson added:

“Reading not only improves literacy skills, it is also an immensely powerful tool to boost children’s creativity, imagination, mental wellbeing and their confidence. It helps them imagine they can be or do anything they like.

“As an avid reader myself, I am proud that North Ayrshire has excelled in its participation level and that none of our primary school children are missing out on this initiative.

“I am sure the people of North Ayrshire will display the same level of participation when it comes to secondary schools, libraries and community groups.”

The evaluation for 2016-17 and the Advisory Group’s full recommendations are available here.



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