Pupils at Renfrew High School have been opening an advent calendar with a difference in the run-up to Christmas.
Instead of a chocolate treat, youngsters from S1 to S3 are getting the chance to win a brand new book as a present every day of Advent, right up to Christmas Eve. The winners are chosen in a prize draw.
The unusual Festive initiative is part of a programme of events encouraging pupils to read more, after Renfrew High was one of only six schools, in Scotland chosen to take part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge for secondary schools.
Photo: From left, Emma Crawford, Kirstie Downs and Lewis Hastie, who are three of the advent calendar book winners at Renfrew High
Funding for the Advent books has come from the Scottish Book Trust, together with a discounted price from Waterstones bookstore, at intu Braehead.
Already pupils have had visits by authors, two youngsters travelled to the Scottish Book Trust headquarters, in Edinburgh to discuss the initiative and other pupils were guests on BBC Radio Scotland talking about books and reading.
The First Minister’s Reading Challenge programme at Renfrew High is being led by Renfrewshire Leisure librarian, Robin Dunlop, in conjunction with staff at the school.
Other schools taking part in the secondary reading challenge are St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High, East Kilbride; Bannockburn High; Arbroath Academy; Clydebank High and Sgoil Lionacleit, on Benbecula.
Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “The concept of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge is to raise awareness and provide a reading for pleasure culture among teenagers.
“Along with staff at Renfrew High, Robin is doing a fantastic job in creating a new interest in reading among the pupils there.
“And giving out a book every day of Advent is certainly a gift of reading, which hopefully the pupils will continue to do as they make their way to adulthood.”