Chris Baird and Bradley Johnson have been inspiring Rams fan to read as part of the Community Trust’s Reading Rams initiative.

Year 4 pupils from Roe Farm Primary school were invited to Derwent Community Library to attend a workshop based around the importance of reading at the football club.

The event has been the second of three library workshops being delivered around the city as well as assemblies in local schools leading up to World Book Day on Thursday 1st March.

As well as inspiring children to read, our coaches have been working with children to understand that their reading skills are used throughout the whole day and not limited to just reading stories.

Children have been encouraged to think about how often first team players and club mascots Rammie and Ewie use their reading skills throughout the day, and that these fundamental skills are just as important as the physical skill.

Children also took part in activities based around choosing suitable books using the 5-finger rule and reviewing their reading material.

Baird and Johnson competed against each other with pupils from the school to identify how often they use their reading skills as footballers. Bradley Johnson’s team were victorious on the day and won the Derby County annuals to take away with them.

Johnson then read an extract from author Tom Palmer’s “Reading the Game”, a book all about a young dyslexic boy who loves football.  This led to children choosing a book of their own and using drama and roleplay to show what was happening within the story.

Kim Birtwistle, from Rams TV, was on hand to interview the youngsters as they had the opportunity to not only talk about reading with their heroes but ask questions about their playing career and experiences on the pitch.

Lauren Slater, School Project Officer, said, “This year we launched the Premier League Reading Stars programme, a 10 week reading intervention programme for year 5 and 6 pupils. We thought that World Book Day would be a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate to schools how we can support reading for their pupils, instead of doing one day of events we wanted to use the whole week.

“Having the players here today has been such a valuable experience, highlighting how important reading skills are for a football player is a more powerful message from a real life player than from a teacher, parent or coach.”

For more information about how we can support reading in your school through PL Reading Stars please contact Lauren.Sla[email protected]


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