3rd March 2022

Yeovil Town have given 300 free, brand-new books and 50 WHSmith vouchers to five primary schools in their local area to support young readers as part of an exciting partnership between Premier League Primary Stars and the National Literacy Trust to celebrate World Book Day on 3 March 2022. 

The partnership has enabled 27,000 free books to be distributed to schools across England and Wales via 81 professional football club community organisations delivering the Premier League Primary Stars education programme. 

National Literacy Trust research found that children who own their own books are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading. Lockdowns have made it difficult for children to access physical books because of school and public library closures, so getting copies of books into the hands of children is more vital than ever. 

Since the launch of the Premier League Primary Stars education programme in 2016, the Premier League has distributed 152,000 free books to schoolchildren. 

Sara Bradley from Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust said: “We are thrilled to be able to support this year’s World Book Day, by delivering free books and vouchers to local primary schools within our community. 

“1 in 4 children (aged 8-11) say that the book they ‘bought’ with their World Book Day token was the first book they had ever owned; increasing to 3 in 10 children who receive free school meals. 

“We know that school closures due to COVID-19 are expected to reverse the progress made to narrow the attainment gap in the last decade, so there’s never been a more important time to support children’s literacy and learning.”

To further support pupils on World Book Day at 10.30am, the National Literacy Trust will host a fun filled Premier League Primary Stars live event, featuring the authors of Football School (one of last year’s World Book Day titles), Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton. 

The 30-minute event – The Great Big 2022 World Book Day Footy & Booky Quiz – will be hosted by sports presenter Kelly Somers and will include a special round of questions set by players from the Premier League, the EFL and the Women’s Super League. 

What’s more, the brilliant Football School: Terrific Teams, written by Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton will be available to read online for free from the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life website thanks to publisher Walker Books. 

Teachers can also access an exciting Premier League Primary Stars World Book Day football-themed challenge with the duo via this page too. 

Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust said: “World Book Day celebrates the power and joy of reading. We know that children who have books at home do better in school, so we are delighted to be able to distribute such an incredible number of books and vouchers to schools across the country with the help of the community organisations at 81 brilliant football clubs. 

“For this year’s World Book Day, we are challenging as many pupils as possible to join their local library, gaining a lifelong access to books and reading for free! I’d like to thank our partners at World Book Day, WHSmith and Walker Books for making this possible.

“I’m also very excited about the live event with Kelly Somers, Ben Lyttleton and Alex Bellos, three brilliantly energetic personalities who inspire children to get into reading through their love of football.”

To download a free copy of Football School: Terrific Teams and to access football-themed activities visit: wordsforlife.org.uk/premierleague