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Santa puts the ho ho ho into home reading

By Liz Nicholls

Children were chock-full of Christmas cheer when they were crowned champs in a Santa Claus reading challenge.

Yellow Class from Bridge and Patrixbourne CE Primary School won a trip to see Santa at Whitefriars in Canterbury.
Yellow Class from Bridge and Patrixbourne CE Primary School won a trip to see Santa at Whitefriars in Canterbury.

Excited youngsters from Yellow Class at Bridge and Patrixbourne CE Primary School in Canterbury pulled out all the stops for the competition, which was open to schools taking part in Buster’s Book Club. They notched up the most impressive number of reading minutes on the challenge date and were whisked to Whitefriars shopping area to receive their festive prize.

Peter Scutt from Whitefriars said: “We were delighted to welcome the top readers from Bridge and Patrixbourne. It really is fantastic to get all these young people reading.”

Charlotte Hayes from Buster’s Book Club said: “It was a really magical experience for the children. They did a craft activity with the elves, threw glitter dust with Faye the Fairy, met Santa, and took home a present.”

She added: “Some of the children said they had never been to meet Santa before and they were absolutely thrilled to have won the prize. I’d like to thank Whitefriars for providing them with this wonderful festive treat - and YMS Travel who transported the children here for free.”

Ren Chinnadurai, head teacher from Bridge and Patrixbourne Primary, said that Buster’s Book Club had been “absolutely transformational” in terms of reading in the school.

“The children read regularly on a Wednesday night and it’s really competitive,” she said. “We’ve actually had to put a time limit on it because initially they were reading until really late at night – so you can see how much it has enthused them!

“Every Friday we tot up all the figures and it’s a really big thing in our assembly. The children and parents say it’s transformed Wednesday nights at home!”

Buster’s Book Club encourages children to read at home through competitions and rewards. Classes and schools compete against each other to see who can read the most, with trophies and prizes up for grabs – including tickets to leisure attractions and visits from celebrity storytellers.

The scheme is supported by organisations including 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.

Schools have until December 16 to join Buster’s Book Club and have the scheme in place for the New Year. Visit www.bustersbookclub.co.uk or contact Kathy Beel at kbeel@thekmgroup.co.uk

  • Santa’s Grotto is located in the centre of Whitefriars Square, Canterbury, CT1 2TF and open until December 24. A visit costs £4 per child and includes an age appropriate gift. Visitwww.whitefriarschristmasmarket.com

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