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To mark World Book Day 2023, the Premier League are giving away more than 20,000 free books to children across England and Wales through its Premier League Primary Stars education programme.
Since Premier League Primary Stars began in 2017, more than a quarter of a million free books have been gifted to young people, thanks to the education programme’s partnership with the National Literacy Trust.
Barnsley Football Club’s official charity Reds in the Community are one of 97 professional football clubs across England and Wales to give away the free books to local primary schools, with 180 World Book Day books being gifted by the club to local primary schools in Barnsley as part of their Premier League Primary Stars delivery.
Reds in the Community’s Premier League Primary Stars Officer Macauley Hobson said: ‘We’ve had an absolute blast visiting 6 Primary Schools over the course of the day with our friend and Barnsley FC mascot Toby Tyke donating books to each school’s library. We also had Barnsley First Team players Ziyad Larkeche and Slobodan Tedic take time out of their busy schedule to join us at Burton Road. It was great to hear the students reading and seeing all their fantastic costumes.’
World Book Day promotes reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own as according to National Literacy Trust research, children who own their own books are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading.
Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust Jim Sells said: “World Book Day celebrates reading for pleasure for everyone. 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 at nearly 100 brilliant football clubs. “We know that some children and families may struggle to access and enjoy World Book Day So our goal is to engage those who need support through inclusive activities like our free live event and wide-scale book donations to open them up to a lifetime love of books and reading and improving their literacy skills. “I’d like to thank our partners at World Book Day and the Premier League for making this possible.”
Premier League Primary Stars provides teachers access to free resources across English, PSHE, PE and Maths, to support children to develop skills and values that are crucial to success in later life.
The free primary school programme provides teachers and parents with downloadable curriculum-linked resources across a range of at Key Stage 1 (age 5-7) and Key Stage 2 (age 7-11), developed by teachers for teachers, and in collaboration with experts, including the National Literacy Trust.
National Literacy Trust research found that 1 in 10 children from disadvantaged backgrounds said they did not own a single book of their own at home. The partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Premier League Primary Stars supports professional football club community organisations to put books in the hands of young people across England and Wales. This aligns to World Book Day’s mission to promote reading for pleasure and offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.
The free World Book Day titles can be the first book a child ever owns. This can have a significant impact on a child’s future as World Book Day found reading for pleasure to be the biggest single indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or income.