COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Literacy Trust adds 10 football clubs to its reading project

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The Literacy Trust has signed up another 10 football clubs to promote its 'Reading the Game' family literacy programme. Among the new signings are Arsenal, Aston Villa, Leeds and Stoke City.

The 'Reading the Game' initiative was set up in September last year with 12 professional football clubs. Projects include family reading groups with incentives such as free tickets and player visits, and providing books for children who don't have books at home. In the past year, more than 3,000 books have been distributed to around 900 children.

The scheme has been particularly successful in encouraging boys to read.

"It shows children that reading isn't just something you have to do for school, it's something that can be fun," said Jim Sells, literacy development officer at the Literacy Trust.

As well as distributing books, football clubs nominate a player as a reading champion to provide a positive male role model for young readers, and club members are trained as storytellers.

The Reading the Game initiative will also be supporting the BBC Big Read in December with events in association with Leeds United and Ipswich Town football clubs.

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