Three Hastings schools have received awards for their “energy and enthusiasm” for the Buster’s Book Club reading reward scheme.
Baird Primary Academy won the Best Buster’s Book Club School Award and Simon Whincop at Westfield School won the Best Staff Champion Award.
The Outstanding Performance Award went to St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School in St Leonards.
The awards event was organised by educational charity School Inspirational Services and staged at the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel.
Chief executive Simon Dolby said: “Each of these schools deserves recognition for their fantastic achievements in the few short months they have been involved with Buster’s Book Club.
“They’ve approached the scheme with energy and enthusiasm, and the effects on pupils’ attitudes and performance underline the impact the club can have.
“I urge other schools in the Hastings area to sign up now.”
Staff at Baird Academy said pupils’ willingness and ability to read had increased dramatically since signing up, and that one family of five children at the school now sit down every Wednesday night with their mum in order to read together.
To maintain momentum, the school has acquired a ‘pets as therapy’ dog that rewards contest-winning classes with a visit for reading sessions.
At Westfield School, Mr Whincop is credited with a tirelessly innovative approach to encouraging children’s love of reading, organising competitions and even coming up with a jingle to promote engagement.
And while St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School only joined the club in March, pupils have already clocked up more than 85,000 minutes of reading.
Buster’s Book Club helps to improve reading levels in school by encouraging children to read for pleasure at home.
Pupils are set individual home reading targets, and take part in inter-class and inter-school reading challenges throughout the year – culminating in an annual record attempt.
Challenge winners receive free vouchers for visitor attractions as well as storytime sessions with celebrity readers including CBeebies’ Mister Maker, Phil Gallagher.
Organisations supporting the scheme include Sussex Newspapers, Orbit, Summerfields Leisure, Brighton Sea Life Centre, Kreston Reeves, 3D Recruit, Eurostar, Little Cheyne Court, and Marit and Hans Rausing Fund in partnership with Sussex Community Foundation.
To join, visit www.SchoolInspirationalServices.co.uk.