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Weekly Edition - 6 March 2015




Premier League footballers call on dads to get reading with their children

FOOTBALLER, author, father and 'Reading Star' Frank Lampard launches Premier League Reading Stars 2015 on World Book Day

Frank Lampard, Adam Lallana, Joey Barton and Boaz Myhill are among the footballer dads who are part of Premier League Reading Stars 2015, helping to inspire thousands of children in disadvantaged areas of the UK to improve their literacy skills.

The Premier League Reading Stars list for 2015 was unveiled today (World Book Day) at an event led by Manchester City's Reading Star Frank Lampard at Urmston Junior School in Manchester.

Children at the school heard Frank talk about the inspiration behind his Frankie's Magic Football series, had the chance to ask him questions and took part in football literacy games. Jim Sells of the National Literacy Trust, who manages the Premier League Reading Stars programme, chaired the fun and interactive session for 278 pupils, some of which had the chance to go in goal against Frank!

As 'Reading Stars', 20 high profile Premier League footballers explain why they enjoy reading and how they have decided on their favourite adult and children books (see full list below). The Premier League Reading Stars programme, run in partnership with the National Literacy Trust and now in its 12th year, is a strongly evidence-based and effective programme which closes the gap in reading ability between 7 to 15 year olds who are underachieving and those who are reading at the expected level.

The programme uses footballers as role models to change attitudes towards reading and uses children's passion for football to motivate them to enjoy reading, which improves their levels at school. Each of the players set literacy challenges for participants with them being able to unlock statistics, tips and videos from each footballer as they progress through the programme.

This year, several of the players, including Lampard, are reading role models in their own families and have chosen books which they enjoy reading at home to their children. The 'Reading Stars' join the Premier League and National Literacy Trust in calling on dads to take an active role in reading to their child and supporting their literacy.

The National Literacy Trust is a leading partner of the 'Read On. Get On.' campaign which highlights the crucial role of fathers in supporting their child to read. A father reading daily to a five year old means that a child's reading will be almost half a year more advanced than a child read to less than once a week by their father.

To support their children's literacy dads (and other family members) can:

Get inspired by watching Premier League footballing dads talking about what they enjoy reading with their children, and also Take part in the fun football reading challenges with their children in the groups website.

Visit:- WordsForLife.Org.UK to find book recommendations, activities and tips on making reading and writing fun for children

Frank Lampard, Manchester City midfielder said:- "I am thrilled to be taking part once again in the Premier League Reading Stars programme; as a dad, literacy is a cause close to my heart - I love reading with my girls, and would really encourage other parents to keep reading with their kids, because your influence is so important, and the skills that children get from reading are priceless. Even 10 minutes a day is valuable, and a great time spent with them."

Jim Sells, Manager of the programme at the National Literacy Trust said:- "Parents have a huge impact on their child's motivation and ability to read and it's great to see so many of our Reading Stars who are also dads share their love of reading and books.  As shown by the proven success of our Premier League Reading Stars programme, using football as a hook to get children to enjoy reading gives them a significant uplift in reading levels, helping them to succeed at school and gain vital skills for the future. You can watch exclusive films of Premier League footballers talking about how much they love reading with their children at:- PremierLeaguereAdingstars.Org.UK."

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore, said:- "Premier League Reading Stars is a fantastic example of the work carried out by our clubs and their Foundations which encourage young people to make positive choices.  Over the last 11 years it has used the power of football, and the popularity of Premier League clubs and players, to encourage children to enjoy reading, and to talk about the books they read. The focus of Reading Stars this year; parents reading to their children; will resonate with many Premier League players and I wish the project every success."

Premier League Reading Stars is funded by the Premier League.

To take part in the player reading challenges online.  Schools can also sign up to take part in the programme online.   Plus, Frank Lampard's live event on World Book Day, organised by Hachette Children's Group can be viewed online.


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