Parteen pupils had more than a million reasons to celebrate

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Parteen National School pupils entranced by the Magic Show presented by Terence Andrews

YOUNG bookworms at Parteen National School have more than a million reasons to celebrate.

Over 21 weeks, they read books other than textbooks for a massive 1,317,894 minutes in their unique ‘Million Minutes’ reading challenge.

That equated to each of the 293 pupils reading for almost 3,500 minutes each.

Children and teachers celebrated the success of the reading drive by dressing up as their favourite fictional characters and having fun in the sun.

This readathon began in November when the teachers at the school brainstormed how they could get their pupils to re-engage with reading after the challenges of lockdown and periods of school absence.

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They wanted to get the children excited about reading again and to bond together as a team, setting a target that could only be achieved if they worked together towards a common goal.

Pupils at Parteen National School take on the role of Magician’s apprentices

It was decided to focus on the number of minutes that would be read rather than the number of books, as this levelled the playing field for all, with the focus being on effort and time spent reading.

The children not only reached their million minutes target, but smashed it by more than 300,000 minutes.

They did this by teachers and parents logging and signing records stating what their children were reading and for how long on a daily basis and that data was compiled into a weekly report by the school ‘Million Minutes’ Team.

Prizes were announced for the children who read the most each week throughout the challenge.

Momentum was kept up through older pupils becoming reading buddies with younger children and reading outside together and zooms and visits from authors, journalists and sports personalities were organised.

The ‘Million Minutes’ Celebration Day  saw the whole school community come together to mark their success. They played games, danced Zumba with Darren Nash and enjoyed magic shows with Terence Andrews.