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Pendle schoolchildren in Dragons’ Den to boost reading

Published: Thursday, 21st December 2017

News story on Dragons' Den Pendle Reading Challenge event

Park High School's Reading Ambassadors will be taking part in the Dragon's Den event.

Pendle businesses are being invited to a Pendle Reading Challenge Dragon’s Den sponsorship event in a bid to boost reading among schoolchildren.

The event is at 10am on Friday 12th January 2018 at The ACE Centre, Cross Street, Nelson BB9 7NN.

Eighteen primary and secondary schools have joined together to promote reading for children in Pendle.

“We are striving to make Pendle The Reading Borough,” said organiser Cathy Bridges, who is Lead Practitioner for Literacy at Park High School, Colne.

“The Pendle Reading Challenge is a new initiative designed to improve student attainment and enhance children’s life chances,” Cathy explained.

“It’s vitally important because Pendle is an area where the average reading age is well below the national average.

“And I’m happy to report that The Reading Challenge is starting to take off,” she added.

Rolls Royce, Raymond Smith Haulage, Textstyles, Lloyd BMW, Silentnight, Booths, Fort Vale (Foundation), A. Rollinson & Son Builders, Warburtons, Colne Noyna Rotary Club and Morrisons Manufacturing are amongst the ‘Dragons’ who’ll be at the event on 12th January.

And Pennine Events and Blackoak Surfacing have already made donations to The Pendle Reading Challenge.

“We thank all those who are supporting us for their community spirit!” She said.

Anyone who can’t attend the event but who’d like to be involved can contact Cathy Bridges at Park High School on Tel: 01282 865200 or email her at:

Schoolchildren of Pendle will be pitching for support for the project on 12th January and there are many ways in which Pendle businesses and business people can pledge support  including:

•          Author visits to school cost £300 - £500

•          A chromebook costs around £150 per pupil and over £4,500
            for a class of 30

•          £25 provides one child with 12 books a year

It costs £20 to send a student to a Reading Ambassadors conference. 
Councillor Dorothy Lord, who is Pendle’s Every Child Matters champion said:

“Our aim is to help all Pendle children read in line with their chronological age or above and this will impact positively on their education across all subject areas.”

The Pendle Reading Challenge has endorsement from authors including bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah who said:

“I think it’s vital to get children reading for pleasure. 

“The Pendle Reading Challenge is an inspired and important initiative,” she added.

Anne Kenworthy, Secondary English Consultant for Lancashire is also supporting the Pendle Reading Challenge.  She said:

“Reading supports school success and opens minds and opportunities for a bright future.”

The new Reading Challenge is part of The Pendle Challenge which was launched this year and includes over 80 organisations, including local schools, Nelson and Colne College and Pendle Council.

Paul Britton, Nelson and Colne College’s Vice Principal for Curriculum who chairs The Pendle Challenge said:

“It is proving to be a powerful driving force to improve the future of thousands of Pendle’s children and young people.”

The schools involved in The Pendle Reading Challenge are:

Park High School

Blacko Primary School

Castercliff Primary Academy

Hendon Brook School

Walverden Primary School

Colne Primet Academy

Pendle Primary Academy

Pendle Vale College

St Michael and All Angels Primary School

Lord Street Primary School  

Laneshaw Bridge Primary School

West Street Community Primary and Nursery School

Coates Lane Primary School

Trawden Forest Primary School

Primet Primary School

Shuttleworth College

Park Primary School

Christ Church C of E Primary School