Rochdale AFC Community Trust have 200 free, brand new books to distribute to primary schools in their local area to support young readers as part of an exciting partnership between the Premier League and the National Literacy Trust to celebrate World Book Day.
In total, nearly 25,000 free books will be given away to children who need them most.
Pupils taking part in the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, delivered by professional football club community organisations across England and Wales, will each receive a free copy of Football School: 20 Fantastic Football Stories. The book, by authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, is also a £1 World Book Day title.
National Literacy Trust research has found that children who have their own books are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading. The partnership will help support children whose access to physical books has been made difficult due to school and public library closures during the national lockdown.
Ryan Bradley, Rochdale AFC Community Trust Director said: “Many schools in Rochdale fall below the national average in terms of attainment in reading at Key Stage 2. Schools are working hard to bridge the gap and the value-added results show that, but if we as a football club charity can inspire even a small percentage more to pick up a book, either through alternative delivery such as Primary Stars delivery or by providing resources such as brand new books I’m sure we will eventually close that gap.”
To further support pupils on World Book Day, the National Literacy Trust will host a fun-filled Premier League Primary Stars Facebook Live event, featuring the authors of the Football School title being distributed, Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton. The one-hour event will include a quiz featuring a special round of questions set by players from the Premier League, the EFL and the Women’s Super League.
Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust said: “World Book Day promotes reading for pleasure to improve all children’s life chances, and we are so pleased to support the charity behind the initiative. We know that children who have books at home do better in school, so we are delighted to be able to distribute such an incredible number of books to schools across the country with the help of the community organisations. I’d also like to thank our partners at Walker Books and the Morrisons Foundation for making this possible.”
“I’m also very excited for the Facebook Live event with Kenzie Benali, Ben Lyttleton and Alex Bellos, three brilliantly energetic personalities who inspire children to get into reading through their love of football.”
If your school or community group would like a batch of books for the school library, as prizes or for individual pupils please contact Rochdale AFC Community Trust Primary Stars Coordinator Graham Hicks email@example.com