PUPILS at one York school got a special surprise.

To mark World Book Day today (March 4) the 430 youngsters who attend Clifton Green primary in York all got a free book delivered to them to help them celebrate and to thank them for all their hard work during lockdown, whether that has been in school or at home.

Staff from the school, and school dog Foxy, spent yesterday doing socially distanced doorstep deliveries.

One of the drop-offs was to a family who moved to Clifton from Chile and their children Lucas and Antonia are very excited to start school on Monday as they have not been in a school since December, back home in Chile.

Another delivery was made to Matilda from Year 6 who is an avid reader but misses her friends.

Frankie Swales, the school’s head of English said: “Our hope is that families can spend some time together reading books, dressing up and celebrating World Book Day, as we would ordinarily be doing at school. As part of our celebrations, we have also held a ‘Masked Reader’ event, where clips of school staff reading in disguise have been released throughout the week for children and families to guess who is behind the mask. We thought this would be a fun and engaging way to continue to promote our love of reading, alongside giving children the opportunity to take part in author Zooms and workshops throughout the week.”

Head Nicola Jones said: “The books are a small token of our thanks to all the children for working so hard during what has been such a challenging year for all. We hope it brings a smile to their face and lets them know that we’re thinking of them every step of the way. A love of stories and language is something we want all children to develop. Enjoying a book, either alone or with family or friends, gives children a chance to develop a fundamental life skill as well as having a positive effect on social, emotional and mental health.”

The money to buy the books came from school fund-raisers.

Meanwhile Christina Gabbitas, Selby children's author, is the latest author to publish her stories on children’s digital reading platform, Fonetti. They will be available on the platform from World Book Day and will include her latest book, Mohna Lott, which addresses the theme of kindness.