England footballer Frank Lampard has become a champion of The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge, encouraging more boys to read for pleasure.
The Chelsea striker releases his first book Frankie’s Magic Football: Frankie vs the Pirate Pillagers (Little, Brown) in June, and the book has already been chosen as one of the recommended titles for the challenge.
Now Lampard is also championing the scheme, run with public libraries, which encourages 750,000 children between the ages of 4 and 11 to read six books during their summer holidays. A video featuring the footballer recommending the challenge is now uploaded on TRA's website.
Lampard said: “Reading with my children is incredibly important to me and a wonderful way to spend time together as a family, exploring magical worlds, through books and stories. I hope that many boys, and girls, will be inspired this summer to take up The Reading Agency’s challenge and enjoy all of the brilliant books available to them at their local library.”
TRA is hoping boys in particular will be encouraged to read, with a 2012 Boys Reading Commission showing that 76% of schools saying boys are not doing as well as girls at reading.
Miranda McKearney, TRA director, said: “We need new approaches to crack society’s literacy problems and help boys feel differently about reading. The combination of Lampard’s celebrity involvement with the freedom and fun of the challenge will be extremely powerful.”
The challenge will begin on 13th July, with every child who reads six or more books receiving a certificate or medal. The theme of this year’s challenge is “Creepy House”, with illustrations by Chris Riddell. As well as young children taking part, young people between the ages of 11 and 24 also take part as volunteers encouraging younger readers, with more than 4,000 taking part last year.
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