Blackburn Rovers Community Trust have joined forces with the Premier League to give away thousands of free books to mark World Book Day 2017.
The club's charitable arm took a selection of great children's titles to the Senior Training Centre at Brockhall on Thursday's worldwide day of celebration, where members of the first team squad were excited to see so many interesting books available through the initiative.
The Premier League will be giving away 2,000 book boxes to primary school teachers who sign up to the new literacy offer available on the Premier League Primary Stars website.
The book boxes, which contain 15 different titles from authors such as Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson and Dan Freedman, have been created in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.
Premier League Primary Stars is a new programme which has seen the Premier League work with education specialists to create and develop free, curriculum-linked Key Stage 1 and 2 resources, which can be used for lessons or to supplement existing in-class delivery of PE, PSHE, literacy and numeracy.
The programme aims to develop skills and ambition both on and off the sports field with resources for girls and boys aged 5-11 years old, with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust leading the delivery of the project in this area.
The opening of the free online literacy offer, which includes packs, resources, and lesson plans for teachers, has been timed to go live on a day in which school children across the world will be celebrating characters from their favourite stories for World Book Day. Teachers who have not already signed up to the site can register now at www.plprimarystars.com
The Premier League have worked with the National Literacy Trust to develop the literacy element of the programme, with the two having worked closely on the Premier League Reading Stars over the past fifteen years. Richard Scudamore, the Executive Chairman at the Premier League has also signed the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge which sees businesses commit to helping improve literacy levels.
Cressida Cowell, author of How to Train your Dragon, whose title ‘How to Fight a Dragon's Fury’ features in each of the Book Boxes, said of the initiative:
“Literacy and reading is imperative for young children and their development both socially and psychologically.
“I am a National Literacy Trust ambassador and I have been working very closely with the Premier League on the development of the literacy element of the Primary Stars programme, so it makes me extremely proud to be a part of an initiative that will be giving away 30,000 free books to young people.”
Nick Jackson-Cooney, who has been instrumental in bringing BRCT's Premier League Primary Stars package to life, said that the players were keenly backing the concept. He explained:
“The first team squad were really receptive to the book giveaway, especially those with children, who recognised some of the titles and authors from when they read to them at home.
“We'd love to see as many of the book boxes from this national initiative ending up in Blackburn and the surrounding area, so we urge teachers to act fast and make sure they claim this great deal while they can.”