Published: 01:00, 08 December 2017
| Updated: 12:01, 08 December 2017
One young reading champ mingled with the stars as she helped to switch on the Christmas lights during a massive event staged at Fremlin Walk shopping centre.
Isabelle Sale, nine, from Barming Primary School in Maidstone, rubbed shoulders with KMFM breakfast show presenters Garry Wilson and Laura Nevitt, the cast of Maidstone Studios’ Peter Pan pantomime, CBBC’s Kellimarie, and X Factor girl group Lemonade for the festivities.
She took centre stage as hundreds of excited revellers gathered for the glittering event which marked the countdown to Christmas. “It was really good, it was really fun,” Isabelle said. “I’ve had a really good time this evening.”
Her once in a lifetime experience was the top prize of a district-wide reading competition run by Buster’s Book Club, a home reading scheme for schools. Ruben Class were proclaimed top for reading and the school selected Isabelle to take part in the official switch-on of Maidstone’s impressive Christmas lighting display.
Simon Dolby of the KM Charity Team, which runs Buster’s Book Club, said: “This is such a fantastic prize. We are delighted to offer pupils exciting experiences as a reward for making such a heroic effort with their reading.”
Buster’s Book Club encourages pupils to spend more time reading at home with their families. Youngsters are spurred on to meet or exceed age-appropriate reading targets through weekly, monthly, and annual challenges.
Prizes include books, tickets to leisure attractions - including Leeds Castle and Planet Ice (formerly Silver Blades ice rink) - and storyteller visits by celebrities including the star of CBeebies’ Mister Maker, Phil Gallagher, and multimillion-selling children’s author and illustrator Nick Butterworth.
The KM Charity Team’s literacy work is supported by Orbit, Golding Vision, Kent Libraries, Leeds Castle, Kent County Council, Medway Council, London Borough of Bexley, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Kent Reliance, Whitefriars, Specsavers, Eurostar, and Bel UK.
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