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You are the Reader

17 March 2022

As part of World Book Day 2022 the Northampton Town F.C Community Trust wanted to do something different to impact more children and inspire a love for reading in local schools, supporting the theme of ‘You are the Reader’.

So, they teamed up with the Leeds United Foundation, an organisation who share a passion for reading as well as its importance to the younger generation. The aim was to inspire over 130 readers within the two schools to correlate to the geographical distance between them.

The two schools who took park were St Chads Primary, Leeds and Briar Hill Academy, Northampton with a total of 137 miles between them. So, both our Community Trust and the Leeds Foundation delivered a range of activities on the day to achieve this goal. From group readings such as Premier League ‘Story Stars’ to one to one and small group guided reading sessions. Some pupils also took part in a Premier League Reading Stars session followed by active learning activities through both Trust’s Educational Partner ‘Tagtiv8’. This allowed children to complete physical challenges using tag belts to create characters from their favourite stories and complete thinking challenges.

However, the main joint activity of the day featured an online session between the two schools where Damon Fox – Business Development Manager at Northampton Town F.C Community Trust led a Story Reading interactive session. Famous Author Dan Freedman (Jamie Johnson Stories) then gave the children an inspiring chat on how he became an Author, why reading is important, and what reading can mean to each of us. Bryn Llewellyn (Founder of Tagtiv8) joined the session to explain the Tagtiv8 concept and their links to World Book Day before then setting the schools their Tagtiv8 challenges for the afternoon.

Damon said "We knew we would be supporting our local schools in different ways with World Book Day but I want to do something with a wider reach than just Northamptonshire so it was great that the Leeds United Foundation shared in that aspiration to put on this joint event. All children seemed to enjoy the day and variety involved, we were able to cater interests of different children and it was also great to see their faces when receiving free books."

Matthew Herschell-Smith from the Leeds United Foundation added: "This is a fantastic opportunity to promote the importance and the love of reading across schools in both Leeds and Northampton. This also provided us with the opportunity to collaborate with other football clubs to promote World Book Day and inspire young people to love reading through the interactions with fantastic authors!"

Both the Northampton Town Community Trust and the Leeds United Foundation donated free books to children across the schools to as part of a yearly support programme from the National Literacy Trust to continue the love for reading and support those children in most need to access books for free.

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