Preston North End Community and Education Trust [PNECET] is celebrating World Book Day today [Thursday 3rd March] by delivering 300 brand-new free books to all Preston primary schools signed up to its Gold, Silver and Bronze partner school packages.
The giveaway is supporting young readers through an exciting partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Premier League Primary Stars – a programme delivered by PNECET within its partner primary schools in Preston and the surrounding areas.
PNECET’s giveaway forms part of a wider distribution of 27,000 free books being shared among schools across England and Wales, via 81 professional football club community organisations delivering the Primary Stars programme.
The Trust has donated books, which include 11 different titles, to its partner schools to support the reading skills of Preston primary school pupils.
National Literacy Trust research found that children who own their own books are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading.
Lockdowns have made it difficult for children to access physical books because of school and public library closures, so getting copies of books into the hands of children is more vital than ever.
Since the launch of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme in 2016, the Premier League has distributed 152,000 free books to schoolchildren.
Free book vouchers will also be available for all children to collect, on a first come first serve basis, from the fan zone at this weekend’s fixture against AFC Bournemouth.
Head of Education Liam Sealey said: “We’re pleased to be working with the National Literacy Trust through our Premier League Primary Stars provision to provide 300 free books to children at our partner primary schools in celebration of World Book Day.
“Across our education provision, we aim to provide an education pathway for all pupils to help them achieve their goals, and we’re confident that the donation of these engaging and informative reading materials will crucially support children to develop their reading skills.”
Children’s book Football School: Terrific Teams will be available to read online for free from the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life website, thanks to publisher Walker Books. Teachers can also access an exciting Premier League Primary Stars World Book Day football-themed challenge with the duo via this page too.
Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust said: “World Book Day celebrates the power and joy of reading.
“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 and vouchers to schools across the country with the help of the community organisations at 81 brilliant football clubs.
“For this year’s World Book Day, we are challenging as many pupils as possible to join their local library, gaining a lifelong access to books and reading for free! I’d like to thank our partners at World Book Day, WHSmith and Walker Books for making this possible.
“I’m also very excited about the live event with Kelly Somers, Ben Lyttleton and Alex Bellos, three brilliantly energetic personalities who inspire children to get into reading through their love of football.”
To download a free copy of Football School: Terrific Teams and to access football-themed activities, please visit wordsforlife.org.uk/premierleague.