Children's authors Paul Cookson, Sharna Jackson and Kwame Alexander are among those taking part in the first Premier League Primary Stars Reading Festival, which will provide free author events for pupils combining football, sport and reading.
The daily online sessions will take place between 12th and 16th July on Zoom and will be run alongside the National Literacy Trust (NLT). Authors will lead a range of workshops and readings, with pupils submitting questions for the speakers. All of the author sessions will be recorded and available to re-watch at a later date. Teachers can access downloadable resources and activities from the festival via the NLT's Words for Life website.
The line up features Cookson, author of Football 4 Every 1 (Pan Macmillan), Jackson, writer of High-Rise Mystery (Knights Of), Booked author Alexander (Andersen Press), Venessa Taylor, author of Baller Boys (Hashtag Press), and Matt Oldfield and Charlotte Browne, authors of the Ultimate Football Heroes series (Bonnier)
Jim Sells, sport and literacy programme manager at the NLT, said: “We’re so excited to be able to offer schools everywhere a brilliant line up of author events as part of our very first Premier League Primary Stars online festival! We understand how hard this academic year has been for teachers and their pupils and we want this to be a week of fun, creativity and inspiration. That’s why we chose the theme of celebration! A great way to get children into reading, and help them gain the life-long benefits of reading is to tap into their interests. This festival engages them in books and literacy through their love of football.”
Nick Perchard, head of community at the Premier League, added: “Through the inaugural Premier League Primary Stars Reading Festival we want to give more primary school pupils across England and Wales the opportunity to engage with top children’s authors and live the Premier League’s values of being inspiring, ambitious, connected and fair.
“We hope this activity will enable more five to 11-year-olds to apply their passion for football to reading and we look forward to seeing them enjoy their online engagement with the authors, role models and activities.”
Schools can sign up securely for the free Premier League Primary Stars Reading Festival online.