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26 Sept 2022

In Pictures: Impressive pupils complete astounding one-million-minute reading challenge

PUPILS at one primary school have closed the page on their monumental one-million-minute reading challenge which they completed by the end of March.

Parteen NS pupils in County Clare have successfully completed their marathon reading challenge, clocking in a million minutes in just 21 weeks of reading.

The page turning test for the school meant that each of their 293 pupils read for almost 3,500 minutes each. The end of the challenge was bookmarked by a Celebration Day in the school.

This entailed students and staff dressing up as characters in books, as well as literary based quizzes, masked reader challenges and congratulatory video messages from writers shown to the pupils.

These were sent in by Limerick man and creator of Noni, Dermot Whelan and author Lisa Thompson.

Teachers setting the challenge decided to focus on the number of minutes that would be read rather than the number of books.

This levelled the playing field for all, with the focus being on “effort and time spent reading.”

This was achieved by teachers and parents logging and signing records stating what their children were reading and for how long on a daily basis. Data was then compiled into a weekly report by the school Million Minutes Team.

Prizes were announced for the school bookworms (the children who read the most each week) throughout the challenge, which kept children focused and motivated.

Over the weeks, momentum was kept up through older pupils becoming reading buddies with younger children and reading outside together.

Zooms and visits from authors, journalists and sports personalities were organised, featuring Jacqui Hurley, Darren Shan, Razan Ibraheem, Alan Nolan, John W Sexton and Roisin Meaney.

Teacher Aislinn Carey said: “The children really connected with the concept and not only reached their million minutes target, but smashed it by reading for 1,317, 894 minutes in total.”

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