AN East Lancashire school has recruited a children’s author to become it’s dedicated Patron of Reading.

Children’s author Steve Hartley, who lives in Rawtenstall, has joined up with St Mary’s CE Primary in Haslingden Road, Rawtenstall to encourage children to read for pleasure.


A Patron of Reading is a school’s special, designated children’s author, who forms a personal attachment to the school.

He will work with the school for two years to raise the profile of reading for pleasure with pupils, parents and staff.

Mr Hartley is most famous for his ‘Danny Baker Record Breaker’ series of books, and he has recently written a new series, starring fictional boy hero Oliver Fibbs.

His appointment was announced as part of a special assembly at the school on Monday.

The school has also introduced a ‘Patron of Reading’ corner in the library, will be running reading competitions and special children’s workshops. with Steve, and will have displays of books for different age groups, recommended by Steve.

Kate Crane, Extended Services Manager said: “He will come in and visit the school quite regularly and will be a familiar face. It’s very exciting. With a Patron of Reading, the children will enjoy reading.”

“His assembly that he did on Monday really built up a lot of enthusiasm with the children.

“They just loved it, we have a very exciting time ahead.”

Steve Hartley said: “The assembly was great fun, I like to show kids books can be fun and bring them to life, and the kids were great.

“A friend asked me to be Patron at St Mary’s because the school was looking to raise the profile of reading and writing within the school, and this is a great way to do it.”

“I’ve known about the scheme for a while now, a couple of other authors who do it say it’s such a worthwhile thing.

I do lots and lots of school visits and run workshops, so I do enjoy doing it, trying to enthuse kids about reading.