To mark World Book Day 2023, the Premier League will be giving away more than 20,000 free books to children across England and Wales through its Premier League Primary Stars education programme. Since Premier League Primary Stars began in 2017, more than a quarter of a million free books have been gifted to young people, thanks to the education programme’s partnership with the National Literacy Trust. Notts County Foundation is one of 97 professional football clubs across England and Wales to give away the free books to local primary schools, with over 200 World Book Day books being gifted by the club to local primary schools in Nottingham as part of their Premier League Primary Stars delivery.
Notts County Foundation Sport and Inclusion Officer Stefan Furgala said: “World Book Day was a great success at Notts County Foundation. We were able to give the books out to pupils in the schools we work with and read through some of the books during our interventions. It’s a great way to get the pupils to read new books and get engaged with different stories.”
Held on Thursday (2 March), World Book Day promotes reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own as according to National Literacy Trust research, children who own their own books are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading. To create more opportunities for pupils to experience the joy of reading on World Book Day itself, the Premier League and the National Literacy Trust will host a free, fun-filled live online event, hosted by Kelly Somers and featuring authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton.
The Great Big 2023 Footy & Booky Quiz will promote reading, engage pupils in reading activities and showcase reading role models through the medium of football.
Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust Jim Sells said: “World Book Day celebrates reading for pleasure for everyone. 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 to schools across the country with the help of the community organisations at nearly 100 brilliant football clubs.
“We know that some children and families may struggle to access and enjoy World Book Day So our goal is to engage those who need support through inclusive activities like our free live event and wide-scale book donations to open them up to a lifetime love of books and reading and improving their literacy skills.
“I’d like to thank our partners at World Book Day and the Premier League for making this possible.”
National Literacy Trust research found that 1 in 10 children from disadvantaged backgrounds said they did not own a single book of their own at home. The partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Premier League Primary Stars supports professional football club community organisations to put books in the hands of young people across England and Wales. This aligns to World Book Day’s mission to promote reading for pleasure and offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.
The free World Book Day titles can be the first book a child ever owns. This can have a significant impact on a child’s future as World Book Day found reading for pleasure to be the biggest single indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or income.