Football inspires hundreds more children to discover the joy of reading

Schools, Libraries and Learning
13:30, Tuesday, 4th May 2021

Young people from five North Lincolnshire primary schools are being helped to discover the joy of reading, thanks to the exciting Scunthorpe United Reading Stars scheme.

Now in its fifth year, the popular programme has channelled pupils’ passion for the beautiful game to spark an interest in reading for pleasure among more than 750 children.

Children from Leys Farm Junior School, Lincoln Gardens Primary School, Oasis Academy Parkwood, The Grange Primary School and Westwoodside Church of England Academy attended the online launch event on Friday 30 April.

At the action-packed session, children were joined virtually by Tom Palmer, the award-winning author of the Football Academy and Foul Play series.

They quizzed Tom on his own journey from reluctant reader to renowned writer, as well as enjoying the start of his spooktacular story Ghost Stadium, which will be continued in class, with every participating school receiving copies.

Speaking after the session, Tom Palmer said:

“It’s always a pleasure to work with Scunthorpe United Reading Stars. They are always top of the league when it comes to working with their local community, and inspiring reading for pleasure.”

Before the graduation ceremony in July, the children will take part in a variety of workshops with special guests, including poet and performer Ian Bland.

Pupils will take a virtual tour of the Sands Stadium and write up a news report. There will even be the opportunity to put a Scunthorpe United player through their paces with a live online question and answer session.

Reflecting on the impact the programme had on pupils, a teacher said:

“[The Scunthorpe United Reading Stars was a] super experience for the children, filming and creating their own scripts. Pupils were so eager to write, they loved the stadium tour and their confidence grew whilst recording each other for their own TV shows.”

Scunthorpe United Reading Stars is a collaboration between North Lincolnshire Council, Scunthorpe United Football Club, Study Parks and children’s authors.

Research continues to show how critical developing a love of reading is to the effective development of a child’s future.

The programme, and other like-minded initiatives, all contribute to the council’s commitment to ensuring all our children receive the best possible start in life.

In North Lincolnshire, this commitment starts from birth. Since 2013, our much-loved Imagination Library scheme has helped more than 689,000 0 to 5-year-olds receive fantastic free books through their letter boxes.