PICTURES: Durrington High gives words to the world

Love for literacy has been shared across the world, thanks to a Durrington High School project.

Students were challenged to collect books in their tutor groups and gather enough to stack as high as their teacher.

Students collected and sorted the books in the school library, once they had been measured in the tutor groups

Students collected and sorted the books in the school library, once they had been measured in the tutor groups

The Giving Words to the World book drive saw thousands of books collected throughout last week.

Some will be donated to other schools in the area and to homeless shelters but most will go to Books to Africa to be distributed in the continent's Sub-Saharan countries.

Librarian Sally Baker said: "The Giving Words to the World initiative was developed to help children who are not as lucky as the students at Durrington.

"We want to play our part in helping the local community and those across the globe gain access to books and increase their word power.

"We aimed to collect over half a billion words to help boost students' learning and see their futures benefit from the simple gift of books. We had boxes and boxes full, so it is really great."

The books were sorted by the student library monitors and a mufti day was held on Friday to raise money to fund the transport costs.

Georgia Brotherhood, 11, and Poppy Mayo, 11, helped by measuring the book stacks in each tutor group.

Georgia said: "We got ours taller than our tutor in 7SK and she is 6ft tall."

Mrs Baker said the initiative also tied in with the students' study of poverty in geography.

She added: "If children develop a love of reading early on, their achievements improve greatly.

"It started off with the idea of sending books to Africa, where they don't even have enough tables and chairs, so it is no surprise that books are a lower priority.

"There seems to be quite a gap between children's books and adult books so I thought, being a high school, it would be a good chance to collect teen fiction for them.

"I have been absolutely blown away by the response to it right from the start. It is quite amazing how far reaching this has been."

There was also a focus on vocabulary, with teachers wearing badges indicating different words each day.

Students will be expanding the initiative by going into The Laurels Primary School and Little Elms Nursery to read to the younger children.