BORO captain Jonny Howson joined forces with us to mark World Book Day and help with the launch of a mobile library.
Jonny, together with Roary and members of our Education team, paid a visit to St. Margaret Clitherow Primary School in South Bank to give out books and talk to the pupils about the importance of reading.
The visit was part of our PL Primary Stars programme which since its inception six years ago, and with backing from the Premier League Charitable Fund and the National Literacy Trust, has given away over a quarter of a million free books nationwide.
Throughout the country over 20,000 books were given away today with Boro one of 97 clubs involved.
“I think it sends out a really important message, that reading is important,” said the Boro skipper.
“I know that not everyone can afford books and for some, not just here, the books which are being given away might be the first book a child has ever owned.
“Reading is so important and as footballers, if we can help get that message to as many as possible it will help. I think it’s great that they have just launched a mobile library too, that’s sure to help a lot of people.
“I really enjoyed this afternoon and happy to have helped in some way.”
World Book Day promotes reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. According to National Literacy Trust research, children who own their own books are nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading.
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.”