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Michael Gove Supports Premier League Literacy Programme

Tue 7th May 2013 | Marketing & PR

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove is visiting a primary school in Whitechapel today (07th May) to see an innovative National Literacy Trust programme which is helping pupils to make up to a year’s progress in reading in just 10 one hour sessions.

Premier League Reading Stars uses children’s passion for football to support their reading. Each Premier League club selects one of its players to become a Reading Star to talk about their favourite books and set reading challenges via online videos.

Speaking of the initiative, Education Secretary Michael Gove, said: “Premier League Reading Stars is a fantastic initiative. I am delighted so many children have been inspired by their footballing heroes to pick up a book and develop a love of reading.

“Many of the children involved in the programme have made huge progress with their reading skills and that is a testament to this initiative. I want to congratulate the National Literacy Trust and the Premier League on their important work.”

The National Literacy Trust has found that only one boy in four reads outside of class everyday and that three out of four teachers are concerned about boys’ underachievement in reading.

A new research study into the effectiveness of the programme by the charity has found that it is having a dramatic impact on participating pupils:

• 75% of pupils made six months’ to a year’s progress in reading in just 10 weeks
• 75% of pupils said they now read more because they know footballers read
• 50% of pupils joined their public library

Children who took part in the programme were compared with a group of children facing similar struggles with reading who did not take part. The study found 10 times as many children who took part in the programme made progress in reading.

Clint Dempsey, Midfielder for Tottenham Hotspur and Reading Star said: “I encourage everybody to read as much as possible because knowledge is power and makes you a more rounded person.

“Not every story will interest you but when you find one that does it can be really fun to get wrapped up in the story. Unlike in movies and video games, with reading you get the opportunity to paint your own picture, which gives you power and creative influence over the story.”

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore added: “To date Premier League Reading Stars has helped over 44,000 children.

“The schools we work in are those that have the most to gain from the programme; they have low achievement in literacy and high numbers of children from poorer homes. I’m very proud that we are both partners and sponsors of this effective programme.

“Now we’re having an even wider impact as everyone can watch their football heroes reading online and answer their challenge questions to win rewards.”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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