The National Literacy Trust (NLT) and the Premier League are teaming up to distribute nearly 25,000 books to five to 11-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds this World Book Day, Thursday (4th March).
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 (Walker Books) by authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton (pictured).
To further support pupils on World Book Day, the NLT will host a ‘Premier League Primary Stars Facebook Live’ event, with the authors of the Football School title. 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.
Research from the NLT has found that children who own their own books are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading. The charity hopes this partnership will help support children whose access to physical books has been made difficult owing to school and public library closures during the national lockdown.
Nick Perchard, head of community at the Premier League, said: “Through the Premier League Primary Stars programme we now engage more than 18,000 schools in England and Wales, either through the in-school support provided by professional football clubs or via free online educational resources.
“This World Book Day, we are extremely happy to be able to further aid children’s education by putting free books into the hands of five to 11-year-olds. This is another important way our long-standing partnership with the National Literacy Trust is supporting children with literacy and encouraging them to develop a love of reading.”
Jim Sells, sport and literacy programme manager at the NLT, said: “We know that children who have books at home do better in school but there are so many children who still don’t have a book of their own. We are delighted to be able to distribute such an incredible number of books to schools across the country with our friends at the Premier League.
“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.”
Teachers, parents and guardians will also have the opportunity to read a free copy of Football School: Season 1 via the National Literacy Trust’s website after the event, with support from publisher Walker Books.
For more information, visit wordsforlife.org.uk/premierleague.