Larbert pupil Zach is a Scottish national book hero

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Kinnaird Primary pupil Zach Henderson is the most literary youngster of his age in Scotland – and has an award from Nicola Sturgeon to prove it.

The youngster won this year’s award for the Pupil Reading the Most Books (lower primary) after ploughing through an incredible 176 volumes, and received his prize at a special event in Edinburgh this week.

Zach’s delighted teacher, Michelle Montgomery, said: “Zach has always had a passion and love for reading, and this has been illustrated in his reading progress during the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

“Zach has imaginative and interesting ideas for his story writing, which has been developed through reading stories in class and at home with his supportive parents”.

She added: “We are committed to improving outcomes for all children, and central to this is laying strong literacy foundations.

“The school encourages pupils to go on their own reading journeys, explore different types of books and celebrate personal reading achievements.”

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge was launched in 2016 for Primaries 4 to 7, and following the success of the first year was expanded to include all Primary age pupils.

Scottish Book Trust ran the contest on behalf of the Scottish Government and every school in Scotland was invited to take part.

This year almost 1,000 schools, from 29 local authorities, registered for the challenge.

Pupils were offered book suggestions, learning resources, prizes, case studies and even the opportunity to apply for author visits.

Congratulating Zach ion his achievement, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Raising attainment is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s work.

“That is why I launched the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – to encourage reading for pleasure from an early age which in turn, helps improve children’s literacy.”

Now, starting in September, the Reading Challenge is to be extended to cover secondary schools, libraries and community groups.