Youngsters have pledged to spend three weeks raising cash to help poorly children enjoy books, plays and literature.

The 218 pupils at Embsay Primary School are holding a Readathon which was launched to coincide with World Book Day on Thursday.

Kirsty Crompton, the school’s English subject leader, said: “This is a sponsored event in which the children have made reading pledges such as to read a story to a younger brother or sister.

She added: “One of the children is planning to read all 21 Famous Five books and others have promised to read for at least 10 minutes every night.”

The money raised from the event will go to two charities, Readwell and the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity, both of which support youngsters with serious illnesses.