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Wednesday 26 March 2014

Lampard launches Premier League Reading Stars

Gallery: Players reveal their favourite books

The National Literacy Trust and the Premier League hosted a fun and interactive celebration of children’s reading at Chelsea Football Club on Tuesday as part of the launch of the 11th year of the National Literacy Trust’s Premier League Reading Stars programme.

Chelsea and England midfielder, Frank Lampard, who has his own series of children's football books, joined to share his love of reading with pupils who are taking part in the Reading Stars programme.

Lampard joined 30 children aged 9-11 from local schools in a football literacy quiz led by children’s football author Tom Palmer. The children then had the chance to fire questions on reading and football at Lampard, Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League, and Cressida Cowell, author of the hugely successful "How to Train Your Dragon" series.

"Premier League Reading Stars is a proven way of getting children to enjoy books"
Frank Lampard

Reading Stars uses children’s passion for football to motivate them to enjoy reading and to improve their reading levels. In the programme each Premier League club selects one player to become a Reading Star to talk about their favourite books and set reading challenges via online videos (See below for the list of 2014 players and their favourite reads).

These challenges are used to support over 30,000 children in 1,000 schools and libraries, who are taking part in a 10-week reading intervention with Premier League-branded materials, including certificates, wristbands, reading journals and wall charts.

In terms of reading attainment, research has shown that there is a significant gender gap. The latest National Literacy Trust research of more than 35,000 8-16-year-olds shows only a quarter of boys reads outside of class every day, and almost two thirds prefer watching TV to reading (63.6%).

While Premier League Reading Stars is an inclusive programme, it has a positive impact upon this particular issue because of the high appeal that football holds for so many boys. Research study into the effectiveness of Premier League Reading Stars has found a dramatic impact on participating pupils:

  • Three out of four of pupils made six months’ to a year’s progress in reading in just 10 weeks
  • The number of pupils who read every day had doubled by the end of the programme
  • Nearly nine out of ten pupils said they read more because they know Premier League footballers read
  • 50% of pupils who took part joined their public library

Children who participated in the programme were compared with children facing similar struggles with reading who did not take part. The study found that 10 times as many children who took part in the programme made progress in reading.

"Reading should be a pleasure no matter what age you are, and Premier League Reading Stars is a proven way of getting children to enjoy books," Lampard.  "It's very easy for young people to get distracted by computer games and television but the importance of getting children to enjoy reading was the inspiration behind my own books. Whether you’re reading with your kids or just enjoying a good book on your own it's a wonderful experience and one of life’s great pleasures."

Scudamore underlined the Premier League's pride in the Reading Stars' inspiring tens of thousands of young people to raise their reading levels.

"That the schools we work with have low achievement in literacy and high numbers of children from less well-off homes means that we are helping those who need it most, providing a positive impact on their lives," he said. "Now we're hoping that this year's line-up of Reading Stars will be able to reach an even wider audience."

Jim Sells, manager of the programme at the National Literacy Trust, expressed his delight at the launch of the 11th year of the programme.

"The National Literacy Trust's experience in supporting children to read for pleasure, combined with Premier League football’s huge influence, means we have a fun and appealing programme with proven results," Sells said. "Using football as a hook to get children to enjoy reading enriches their lives, helps them to succeed at school and gain vital skills for the future."

Premier League Reading Stars is funded by the Premier League and Arts Council England.

To take part in the player reading challenges visit the Premier League Reading Stars website.

For more information for schools click here >>

Club Player Children's book Adult's book
Arsenal Wojciech Szczesny The Glass Mountain and other Polish Fairy Tales by Elsie Byrde How Not to Be a Professional Footballer by Paul Merson
Aston Villa Jed Steer The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein One Shot by Lee Child
Cardiff City Andrew Taylor Roy of the Rovers: The Unauthorised Biography by Mick Collins Craig Bellamy: GoodFella by Craig Bellamy
Chelsea Frank Lampard Ratburger by David Walliams Team of Rivals: Lincoln Film Tie-in Edition: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Crystal Palace Aaron Wilbraham Alien Alby by Kaye Umansky Gazza: My Story by Paul Gascoigne
Everton Steven Naismith Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling Gone for Good by Harlan Coben
Fulham Dan Burn Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Hull City Liam Rosenior Oxford Junior History: Tudors and Stuarts by R.E.C. Burrell Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning: The Biography by Guillem Balague
Liverpool Raheem Sterling Holes by Louis Sachar I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Man City Joleon Lescott Funnybones by Janet & Allan Ahlberg Ronaldo: The Journey of a Genius by James Mosley
Man Utd Ashley Young Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl Open by Agassi
Newcastle United Sammy Ameobi The BFG by Roald Dahl Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Norwich City Russ Martin James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl The Damned Utd by David Peace
Southampton James Ward-Prowse James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl David Beckham by David Beckham
Stoke City Charlie Adam The Gruffalo's Child by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler My autobiography by Alex Ferguson
Sunderland John O'Shea Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl Sycamore Row by John Grisham
Swansea City Nathan Dyer The Twits by Roald Dahl My Premier League Diary by Ashley Williams
Tottenham Hotspur Jan Vertonghen Matilda by Roald Dahl Inferno by Dan Brown
West Bromwich Albion Jonas Olsson Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Volume One (first part of his memoirs)
West Ham United Joey O'Brien The Cry of the Wolf by Melvin Burgess Engage. The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson by Paul Kimmage

Key Points

  • The 11th year of the Premier League Reading Stars programme is launched in London
  • Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard attends special event at Stamford Bridge
  • Programme uses children's passion for football to motivate them to enjoy reading
Tags: Education

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