STAFF and pupils at Norden High School, Rishton, are jumping for joy after reaching a fund-raising target of £50,000.
The school was set the challenge of raising the cash before the end of this month as part of its bid to achieve specialist Sports College status.
And delighted headteacher Denise Parkinson said they would not have achieved their goal without the help of the Observer's Hyndburn 600 Appeal, launched in November, which contributed £5,627 towards the final total.
The appeal encouraged readers to give £50 to the cause. Those who did will get a special limited edition keyring and their names will be displayed on a roll of honour board in the school hall.
Mrs Parkinson said: "It's absolutely amazing and I would like to thank the Observer for all its help and support."
"People have been extremely supportive and the donations we have received in memory of people who have died have been so touching."
"The number of people who have come forward and offered their help has been simply wonderful.''
The remainder of the cash has come from a huge fund-raising campaign involving pupils, their parents and even their grandparents.
The children carried out sponsored bag-packing at Asda Accrington, the Co-op in Great Harwood and Marks and Spencer's in Lancaster, raising £1,000, and took part in several non-uniform days. The youngsters also paid £1 each to see the school close early for a day.
Mrs Parkinson said: "The pupils are now aware we have reached our target and they are quite excited. The fund-raising ideas that some of them have come up with have been fantastic."
Staff at the school are now preparing the written bid, which has to be submitted to the Department for Education and Skills by 12 March.
Mrs Parkinson said: "Once the bid is in we have to wait to see if we are short-listed. If we are there will be an inspection of the school and then we will have to wait to find out if we have been successful."
The school stands to gain £100,000 to build a special resource centre plus £126 per pupil for five years - additional funding of over £430,000.
This will benefit the wider community as well as the school, with people being able to use the facilities in the evenings, weekends and holiday periods.