Boys benefit from Read for My School

Boys benefit from Read for My School

The free online library created for the Read for My School made children "excited" to read, with boys with average and lower reading ability the most motivated, according to a survey conducted by the organisers.

The inaugural competition, organised by The Pearson Foundation and Booktrust with support from the Department of Education, ran between January and March this year. One hundred thousand pupils from more than 3,600 primary schools in England signed up, with over 400,000 books logged on the competition website, nearly half of them read via a free online library provided by Pearson, Penguin and Dorling Kindersley.

A survey of teachers whose pupils took part found 85% said the provision of the free online library motivated their pupils to read, with children "excited" by it. Boys with average and lower reading ability were the pupils most motivated by the option to read online, according to the teachers. Meanwhile 86% of teachers said Read for My School had encouraged children to read more books than usual, with two thirds saying pupils were now more likely to read for pleasure in the future.

Megan Benson, a nine-year-old from Webber's Church of England Primary School in Holcombe Rogus, Devon, won the "Most Books Read" award with a total of 273; meanwhile 10-year-old Jack Vasey from Holt Voluntary Controlled Primary School near Trowbridge in Wiltshire was awarded the winner of the "Most Interesting Written Responses to Books Read" award.

Education and childcare minister Elizabeth Truss congratulated the young winners, saying: "We are supporting this competition because we want children to develop a love of reading and always have a book on the go. The competition is also an important part of our drive to raise literacy standards. I am delighted the competition has encouraged even the most reluctant children to pick up a book for the first time. I hope even more pupils will take part next year so that thousands more children can discover the joy of reading."

Booktrust chief executive Viv Bird said the judges had been "hugely impressed, not only by the number of books read, both online and offline, but by the enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and dedication shown by the children."

The most read books online were Titanic Tragedy (13,316 reads), Cinderella: The Real Story (12,574 reads) and The Story of Chocolate (12,202 reads).