Ballyclare High crowned top fundraising school by Cancer Fund for Children

Pupils in Year 9 and 10 at Ballyclare High School were presented with a trophy by Cancer Fund for Children .
Pupils in Year 9 and 10 at Ballyclare High School were presented with a trophy by Cancer Fund for Children .

Over the last 16 years the Ballyclare-based grammar school has taken part in Cancer Fund for Children’s ReadOn challenge, a sponsored reading event that encourages pupils to read for pleasure whilst raising vital funds to support children and young people impacted by cancer in Northern Ireland.

Since the Rashee Road school's first ReadOn challenge in 2004 over 10,000 pupils have taken part raising a staggering £108,657 and thousands of books have been read in the process. The school once again excelled in 2019 raising £6,520 and fended off 49 other schools to win the ReadOn trophy for Top Fundraising School.

Mrs Colville, an English teacher and ReadOn Co-ordinator at Ballyclare High School explains the why the sponsored reading initiative is so successful and has become a firm fixture in the school’s calendar.

She said: “ReadOn is simple, fun and educational. It encourages pupils to pick up a book and show an interest in reading. With all the technology available nowadays, for young teenagers especially, I feel it is more important than ever to encourage them to read and use their imagination. Importantly by raising money for a local charity, ReadOn also helps reinforce the importance of doing something to help others.”

In the lead up to World Book Day on March 5, Cancer Fund for Children is encouraging other schools to join Ballyclare High School and help celebrate the importance of reading by taking part in ReadOn. The concept is simple pupils are asked to read a book or books in return for sponsorship from friends and family. Every school that signs up will receive a free ReadOn pack with posters, teaching resources and a bookmark and pencil for each participating pupil/

Cancer Fund for Children’s School Fundraiser, Rebecca Oates, explained: “ReadOn is a perfect example of children helping other children through something as wonderful as reading and World Book Day is the perfect time to take part and encourage pupils to make use of the excellent resource, they have in their own school library. Registration is easy.

"Simply go to to sign up or call me on 028 9080 5599. I can also go along to an assembly at your school to introduce ReadOn and explain the of Cancer Fund for Children.”

All the money raised by local schools will help Cancer Fund for Children provide practical and emotional support to children and young people diagnosed with cancer or living with a parent with cancer.