Paddy and his fellow Premier League players have each named their favourite adult and children’s books, which they selected in support of the innovative programme that uses the motivational power of football to inspire children, particularly boys, to read more.
The Reds centre-back chose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for his childhood book and cited Rio Ferdinand’s autobiography as an inspirational read in more recent years.
“I always looked up to Rio when I was younger because he played the same position as me and when I trained with the under 18s sometimes Rio would come down and give us a few tips. I saw him as a real role model,” Paddy said. “I especially like players’ autobiographies because you get to learn about their background, what they do off the pitch and their life experiences, in order to help you make the right choices.”
Premier League Reading Stars kicks off its 13th year with a brand new digital resource which has 60 online challenges. The website www.extra-time.org can be used at school, in a library or at home, which means parents can get involved too.
By completing literacy activities, participants can unlock exclusive rewards including video clips of their heroes, signed certificates and player profiles. Reading Stars is designed for pupils aged between nine and 13 and covers various different types or aspects of reading.
Evaluation shows that Premier League Reading Stars has a positive impact on both children’s reading enjoyment and attainment. In 2014/15 there was a 50% increase in the number of children who enjoy reading at the end of the programme (44% before, 66% afterwards).
Premier League Reading Stars Senior Programme Manager Marian Keen-Downs said: “The National Literacy Trust’s Premier League Reading Stars programme has been designed for reluctant readers. It targets pupils, particularly boys, who love football but don’t see the relevance of reading to their lives. For any fan, learning about the current season is hugely appealing and we use that appeal to stimulate reading and build reading stamina.”
For more information on Premier League Reading Stars visit: https://plrs.literacytrust.org.uk/