Tuesday 22 May 2012
Nearly 35,000 children have already joined the Premier League Reading Stars revolution as hundreds of schools and libraries across the country have received a special literacy pack to promote reading for young people.
The pack, designed for 7-12 year-olds, contains branded football resources for 32 youngsters - including pens and reading journals - as well as exclusive access to online videos of high-profile players to inspire pupils.
And you can get involved too.
The pack is available from the Premier League's partners, the National Literacy Trust, but there is only a limited number left. Get yours by clicking here.
The Premier League Reading Stars programme, which is delivered by the National Literacy Trust and funded by the Premier League and the Arts Council of England, uses the power of football to encourage youngsters to improve their literacy skills.
"I want to read more challenging books - I'm just reading stories at the moment and seeing how good I am"
- Reading Star Muhammad Sajid
A player from each of the 20 Premier League clubs has become a Reading Champion, with the stars setting literacy challenges and talking about their favourite books.
Players such as Theo Walcott, Tim Cahill and Chris Smalling have recorded 100 exciting online challenges to test the literacy skills of young people, with 13,000 children already successfully completing the quizzes.
Click here for the online challenges and for your chance to win special rewards, and if your school or library has a pack, you also have the opportunity to win unique prizes.
The Premier League Reading Stars Scheme has been running since 2003 and has had a massive impact, with 96% of children who have taken part saying they read more regularly because of participating in the project.
One youngster who has benefitted from Reading Stars is 11-year-old Muhammad Sajid from East London, who says the scheme has made a big difference to his attitude to books.
"I hated reading before," he said. "I would just watch TV. So I didn't read that much, but football got me into it.
"I think I knew there were books about football before, but I didn't bother to read them before taking part in Premier League Reading Stars – it really got me reading every week.
"I want to read more challenging books - I'm just reading stories at the moment and seeing how good I am. After that, I will read harder books."
Read Muhammad Sajid's story >>
Two of the Premier League's Reading Champions have recently been given the Royal seal of approval for their support of the scheme.
Everton midfielder Cahill and Newcastle defender Mike Williamson have both received certificates signed by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the National Literacy Trust.
Cahill had his certificate presented to him at the club's training complex by pupils from Norman Pannell Primary School in Netherley. Earlier this year, Cahill visited the school to promote the importance of reading.
"It was fantastic to see the kids again and I am delighted to hear how much they have enjoyed reading since starting the programme," Cahill told the club's official website.
Click here to view the full Creating Chances report