County in the Community has given 400 books to 15 primary schools in Gwent to support young readers to celebrate World Book Day.
As part of an exciting partnership between the Premier League and the National Literacy Trust, 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.
Dan Harvey, School Sport Coordinator, at County in the Community said: "Engaging pupils at a young age is vital in establishing a lifelong enjoyment of reading and doing so through sport, in particular football, is a really powerful tool to achieve that.
"Our Premier League Primary Stars programme has shown that football can really be used as a hook to engage young people and promote reading for pleasure. That’s why celebration events such as World Book Day, being able to provide these resources to those who may not usually have access to them, is so important!"
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 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."
To find out how County in the Community can support your school, through great projects like this, contact Dan Harvey firstname.lastname@example.org