Ahead of Doncaster Rover’s game against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, hundreds of young football fans got the chance to choose a brand new book to take home and keep as part of an exciting partnership to celebrate World Book Day.
Doncaster Stories and WH Smiths teamed up to support Club Doncaster Foundation to bring World Book Day books to children and young people at a fantastic pop-up book stall at Keepmoat Stadium.
World Book Day book tokens were handed out on arrival to all young Doncaster and Wycombe fans attending the match. Children could choose from one of 12 exclusive 2020 World Book Day titles to take home and keep.
Club Doncaster Foundation went the extra mile and Donny Dog’s Kennel was buzzing with book themed activities whilst families awaited kick-off. Phil Sheppard, local author and Senior Project Officer for Doncaster Stories, led a storytelling session, Doncaster libraries were offering golden tokens that can be exchanged for a book at the library, and children took home a match reporting activity so they could give their views on the football.
On World Book Day itself, Donny Dog will be touring local primary schools to gift free books to children that have been donated by the local community. Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that children who own a book at home are six times more likely to read above expected levels for their age, yet one in eight children in Doncaster are missing out as they do not have a book of their own. The donations made via the Foundation’s Book Bank could help local children fall in love with reading for the first time.
Kelly Jackson-Powell, Club Doncaster Foundation schools development officer said: “This will be our biggest and most ambitious World Book Day event to date.
The Foundation looks to develop young people in Doncaster via the whole curriculum and with this event, we hope to engage young football fans using reading materials such as programmes and books about football.
“We’d like to thank WHSmiths Doncaster, Doncaster Stories, Premier League and National Literacy Trust for their support in making this possible.”
Mike Leyland, Doncaster Stories manager, added: “Football is a fantastic way to get children excited about reading and we we’re delighted to work with WH Smiths and Club Doncaster Foundation on this exciting event. We know that a love of reading can transform children’s chances of success in school and beyond, so it was wonderful to see young football fans excitedly choose their brand new World Book Day book to take home and keep.”
The initiative is part of a wider partnership between the National Literacy Trust and WHSmith, which is supporting the Premier League Primary Stars programme to bring pop-up book stalls to 67 professional football clubs from the Premier League and English Football League on match days around World Book Day.