Children across the country have smashed a reading target set by a Newbury charity to get more young people interested in books.
Achievement for All, based in Oxford Street, staged the Ten Million Minutes Reading Challenge, in which 447 schools across the UK took part.
It tasked pupils with reading for a combined 10 million minutes across the space of a week in a bid to help boost children’s literacy levels.
And that target was easily surpassed as the final total for minutes read was an incredible 15,995,407.
Sonia Blandford, founder and CEO of Achievement for All, said: “Ten Million Minutes is designed to be a fun and engaging challenge to inspire children to read through a competitive element.
“It’s heart-warming to hear all the wonderful tales from the schools following the challenge and the difference is already making to children who were struggling to read.
“Research shows that reading for just 10 minutes a day can have a huge impact on a child’s progress.
“We are delighted that the children didn’t just smash our 10-million-minute target, they excelled it.”
Five schools from the Newbury area were among the 447 who took part.
Each school was ranked on the average number of minutes read per pupil, with prizes on offer for those that recorded the most.
Of the near-Newbury contingent, Compton Primary School finished highest in 23rd spot, with 187 pupils reading for a combined 93,136 minutes during the week, or 498 per person.
Burghclere Primary School was 32nd after averaging 420 minutes reading per pupil.
John Rankin Junior School in Newbury was 60th, Beedon Primary School 137th and Ecchinswell and Sydmonton Primary School 167th.
The winning school was Monks Abbey Primary School in Lincoln after its pupils averaged 1,590 minutes each, and won £10,000 to put towards a new library or reading area.