SCHOOLS across Witham took part in an annual event aimed at getting youngsters to pick up a book and read.

A total of seven primary and secondary schools took part in this year’s Get Witham Reading day last Friday.

The scheme is run by the town’s MP, Priti Patel, sho took time out from her busy schedule to visit all the schools involved throughout the day.

Teachers and their pupils decorated classrooms with reading themes while some schools put on a range of activities, including poetry reading and book sharing.

Speaking after her tour of the schools had finished, Ms Patel said: “It was the best Get Witham Reading day yet and I had a terrific time visiting the seven schools that took part.

“The enthusiasm and creativity shown by both teachers and pupils for their themes for the day was truly heart-warming.

“My thanks to all the schools, the teachers and the pupils who worked so hard to make the day a success.”

Among the schools taking part in the day were Silver End Academy, New Rickstones Academy, and Powers Hall Academy.

Templars Academy was also involved and was handed dozens of new books by Ms Patel, which had been donated to her by the World Book Day charity.

The Get Witham Reading scheme was launched seven years ago and is said to have helped improve literacy levels in a number of schools in Witham.

In 2018, eight schools in the town and surrounding area achieved well above the national average in their Key Stage 2 exams.