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Published 27th Jun 2017

Young readers celebrate books at the Riverside Stadium

280 local pupils are set to enjoy a morning of fun literacy activities at Middlesbrough Football Club as part of the National Literacy Trust’s flagship reading for enjoyment initiative, the Young Readers Programme.

The programme teaches children how to choose books they’ll enjoy and gives them the chance to choose new books to keep at a series of fun events. For their third and final event, Year 5 and 6 pupils from Ayresome Primary, Beech Grove Primary, Breckon Hill Primary and Park End Primary schools will visit the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday 27 June 2017.

Pupils will have the chance to take part in four fun activities, which will inspire a love of reading:

• A storytelling session with Cathy Cassidy, author of The Chocolate Box Girls series and winner of the Queen of Teen Award
• A performance from with writer, musician and storyteller Miles Salter
• Activities with WHSmith, the project funder, including choosing a book to take home
• Fun activities with Middlesbrough FC

The Young Readers Programme is just one of the many reading-focused events and initiatives taking place in Middlesbrough as part of the Middlesbrough Reading Campaign. Middlesbrough Football Club has played an important role in the campaign since its launch in 2013 – profiling the importance of literacy in match-day programmes, giving out free books at matches and inspiring pupils to read with player visits to schools.

Jason Vit, National Literacy Trust Hubs Manager said:

“We are delighted to be working with our partner Middlesbrough Football Club on this exciting Young Readers Programme event. Our recent research to mark the 20th year of the programme shows that enjoyment of reading puts children more than three years ahead in the classroom, so we must continue to do everything we can to inspire children in Middlesbrough to fall in love with reading.”

Over the last 20 years, the Young Readers Programme has gifted more than 1.1 million books to 384,196 disadvantaged primary school children – for many, these were the first books the children had ever owned.

Steven Bell, Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation Transition Coordinator commented:

“We are delighted to be hosting and supporting such a prestigious event. Working in collaboration with the National Literacy Trust and WHSmith, Middlesbrough Football Club offers an inspiring setting for this year’s Young Readers Programme. Allowing literacy and reading to be fun, whilst still being informative, is imperative for children, and will hopefully encourage them to read more often. With such fabulous guests like Cathy and Miles offering the children a range of exciting activities, I’m positive the day will be a resounding success!”



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