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World Cup plan to inspire reading

PUBLISHED: 13:30 16 May 2014

The National Literacy Trust are hoping to inspire more children to read during the World Cup

The National Literacy Trust are hoping to inspire more children to read during the World Cup

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To make the most of the excitement surrounding the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the National Literacy Trust and a children’s author have developed a free toolkit, backed by Frank Lampard, for schools to inspire young people’s reading.

Written by popular football children’s author Tom Palmer, ‘Love Football: Love Reading 2014’ is supported by Renaissance Learning and The Football Association.

The toolkit for literacy professionals features ideas, activities, resources and posters which schools, libraries and learning centres at football clubs can use to promote reading through sport.

It is also supported by Chelsea and England midfielder Lampard, who is a children’s author himself.

During the five weeks of the World Cup, the National Literacy Trust will publish an original children’s story in 26 episodes.

Each chapter will be roughly 700 words long (a five-to-ten-minute classroom read) and will be published before 8am every weekday from Wednesday June 11 to Monday July 14 so that schools - and others - can read it aloud during the day.

As well as being an ongoing adventure story, each chapter will respond to the events of the previous day at the World Cup in Brazil, controversies on and off the pitch, key games, England’s results and the main stories which the broadcast and print media are covering.

The toolkit aims to hook young people, especially boys, into reading by focusing on the events and highlights of the tournament as they happen. National Literacy Trust research in 2012 revealed that three out of four UK schools were concerned about boys’ underachievement in reading, and an estimated 60,000 failed to reach the expected level in reading at age eleven.

Lampard said: “This toolkit is a fantastic idea and a great resource for getting kids enthusiastic about reading and writing at a time when the world’s focus will be on football.

“My own children love hearing stories about football and I think the World Cup is a powerful inspiration for children to enjoy reading and to try writing their own stories.”

Palmer added: “When I was a boy it was very difficult to motivate me to read for pleasure. I take part in football writing and projects like this because this is the kind of thing that would have worked for me. And I do it because I think it will work for children today.”

Donna McIvor, FA National Football Development Manager (Education), said: “The project is a fantastic way to celebrate the World Cup and get behind our England team whilst improving young people’s reading skills.

“The Football Association are very happy to support this fantastic project and we hope it encourages more young people to enjoy reading.”

To find out more, visit www.literacytrust.org.uk/schools_teaching/world_cup_2014.

You can download chapter one in the World Cup series and, from Wednesday June 11, will be able to follow the World Cup story daily at www.literacytrust.org.uk/resources/practical_resources_info/6024_foul_play_brazil-a_world_cup_adventure_story.

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