Primary school children across Milton Keynes will be picking up their books next week in a bid to be crowned the champions of a unique reading challenge called One Million Minutes.
The competition, run by award-winning education charity Achievement for All, challenges primary school classes across the country to read for as many minutes as they can in one week.
The class which manages to clock up the most number of minutes and top the leaderboard by the end of the week will win a brand new reading corner for their school with books of their choice, worth over £1,000, courtesy of Peters Books & Furniture.
The competition visits Milton Keynes on Wednesday June 22 – Wednesday June 29 2016 and is designed to improve literacy levels in primary schools across the country.
This follows research that show a quarter of all children leave primary education without reading well.
In England, struggling to read is more closely linked to low pay and the risk of being unemployed than in any other developed country.
Every primary school in Milton Keynes is being invited to sign up to the competition, free of charge.
“We are delighted that so many children are taking part in the challenge and are gearing up for the competition next week. One Million Minutes is designed to be fun and engaging for children, parents and teacher alike, to promote a love of reading as well as address a serious subject,” said CEO and founder of Achievement for All, Professor Sonia Blandford.
“A recent report by Unicef revealed that the UK was ranked 25th out of 37 countries in reading. Shocking figures that we want to change. Reading is a crucial part of our daily lives and research shows that reading for just an extra ten minutes a day can have a huge impact on a child’s education. We hope that our challenge will encourage children to pick up a book and really enjoy reading.
“And it’s not too late to sign up to the challenge – we would love as many schools as possible to register their classes. It’s really simple, it doesn’t cost a penny, it will inspire children to read, and will give them the chance to win a fabulous prize for their school.”
So far the challenge has been to eight different regions across the country, with 28,000 children taking part, reading for a combined total of a staggering 3,172,266 minutes. Lancashire has been the only region to smash the One Million Minutes target, but can Milton Keynes beat them?
Schools can register as many classes as they wish, enabling every child to benefit from the competition, while increasing their chances of winning. The class that reads for the most amount of minutes and tops the leaderboard at the end of the week, will win the beautiful new reading corner for their school.