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Literacy news

Theo Walcott joins Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to launch Premier League Reading Stars

26 Jan 2012

Walcott Duchess Read 4D10DD  2Players from all 20 Premier League clubs are to use the motivational power of football to encourage children to improve their literacy skills. As part of the Premier League Reading Stars programme they will set literacy challenges and talk about their favourite books, sharing their love of reading online at

The National Literacy Trust programme targets primary and secondary pupils who are not reaching the expected levels in literacy for their age. Every Premier League club nominates a player as their Reading Star. This player selects their favourite children’s and adults’ books to create a 40-strong book recommendation list.

Any child with internet access can watch the unique films in which 20 high-profile Premier League players set 100 literacy challenges and explain why they picked their favourite books and what they enjoy about reading. Children completing challenges win prizes, while a child completing all 100 will get the chance to win some signed memorabilia.

Premier League Reading Stars, which is delivered by the National Literacy Trust and funded by Arts Council England and the Premier League, started in 2003. Since then over 100 Premier League players have supported the project, 15,000 children and parents have participated, and over 50,000 books have been read.

The 2012 programme was launched today by The Duchess of Cornwall, Patron of the National Literacy Trust, and Arsenal forward Theo Walcott at Emirates Stadium.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust said: “Our research shows that a quarter of boys (28.3%)* say that a sportsperson could inspire them to read. So getting footballers on board gives us a new and powerful strategy to get boys reading.”

* National Literacy Trust study on role models: Reaching out with role models: the impact of role models on young people’s reading behaviour, Clark, Dugdale and Osbourne, April 2009. The study questioned 2,176 pupils at primary and secondary schools.

Do you wish your pupils enjoyed reading more? Turn football fans into reading fans and use exciting challenges to support reading and literacy skills with the Premier League Reading Stars Resources for standard and large class sizes.

Tags: Children, Libraries, Premier League Reading Stars, Schools & teaching, Sports

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The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.