Nottingham Forest Community Trust have given 50 free, brand new books to 4 primary schools in their local area to support young readers as part of an exciting partnership between the Premier League and the National Literacy Trust to celebrate World Book Day. In total, nearly 25,000 free books will be given away to children who need them most.
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. The book, by authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton, is also a £1 World Book Day title.
National Literacy Trust researchhas found that children who have their own books are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading. The partnership will help support children whose access to physical books has been made difficult due to school and public library closures during the national lockdown.
Tom Norton PLPS Senior Head Coach from Nottingham Forest Community Trust said: ‘’It is great to be a part of World Book Day, with the National Literacy Trust and be able to distribute books to our local partner schools. Reading is a massive part of our PLPS offer in schools and we as a trust recognise the importance of reading for children to help them reach their potential, especially given the impact the pandemic has had on pupil’s school life’s. To help decide which of our partner schools would receive the pack of 50 books, we ran a book review competition. We have been really impressed with the effort and quality of the reviews we got back, and it made it really hard for us to just pick 4 schools. Alongside the book review competition, we are also putting on a live online World Book Day workshop, linked to the well-being book ‘’The Huge Bag of Worries’’ 5 of partner schools will be joining us for this workshop. Finally, a massive thank you to the National Literacy Trust, Walkers Books and Morrison’s for allowing us to be apart of this great initiative and support our local children with free books for them to enjoy.
To further support pupils on World Book Day, the National Literacy Trust will host a fun-filled Premier League Primary Stars Facebook Live event, featuring the authors of the Football School title being distributed,Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton. 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.
Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust said:“World Book Day promotes reading for pleasure to improve all children’s life chances, and we are so pleased to support the charity behind the initiative. 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. I’d also like to thank our partners at Walker Books and the Morrisons Foundation for making this possible.”
“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.”
Hannah Stimson – Teacher & Literacy Lead Blue Bell Hill Primary | ‘’Blue Bell Hill are so proud to have taken part in the book review competition with Nottingham Forest and the The Literacy Trust. As a school, we have continued to work hard to promote a love for reading, sharing the importance of books as a truly valuable resource during these difficult times and reminding children that an adventure awaits behind every cover. We are so excited to share the new adventures that await, in our prize collection’’.
Caroline Savage – Teacher & Literacy Lead Holly Primary | ‘’ The children in our school were really excited when I told them that Forest were holding a competition for World Book Day. We have the Forest coaches in our school and they love their sessions with them. They also love reading! They start every day by reading a wide range of books. The only issue that they had was choosing which book they wanted to write a review about. The lovely thing about a competition like this is that it applies to all ages and abilities. So even a non reader can write about a favourite picture book. Books are a universal passion. It is also lovely to celebrate World Book Day as, this year, we can’t dress up as we normally would. We are so thrilled to have won one of the prizes. Like many schools, our budget has been stretched to the limit by Covid and being able to buy quality books for our children is, sadly, very difficult at the moment. I know that these books will be cherished by our children and help to encourage their enthusiasm for reading. Many thanks to Nottingham Forest and the Literacy Trust for organising this’’.
Joanne Skeavington – Teacher & Literacy Lead Sutton Primary | ‘’As part of our school’s reading culture, we always encourage our children to discuss books that they have read. Taking part in the Book Review Competition gave the children at Sutton Road a real purpose for their book reviews. We are delighted to have won the competition and we are looking forward to sharing the prize of new books with our children’’.
Sarah Bradbury – Teacher Sherwood Junior School | ‘’’The children and staff at Sherwood are beyond delighted to have won a pack of books! The children have been exceptional throughout Lockdown to engage with every challenge we have given them heart and soul. This has made us all feel very proud, especially the children. Thank you so much!’