World Cup set to help kids read

The National Literacy Trust and author Tom Palmer have developed a free World Cup toolkit for schools to inspire young people’s reading

Written by popular football children’s author Tom Palmer, Love Football: Love Reading 2014, is supported by Renaissance Learning and the Footballers’ Association. The toolkit for literacy professionals features ideas, activities, resources and posters that schools, libraries and learning centres at football clubs can use to promote reading through sport. 

Tom Palmer says: “When I was a boy it was very difficult to motivate me to read for pleasure. I take part in football writing and projects like this because this is the kind of thing that would have worked for me. And I do it because I think it will work for children today.”

During the five weeks of the World Cup, the National Literacy Trust will publish an original children’s story in 26 episodes. Each chapter will be roughly 700 words long (a five to 10 minute classroom read) and will be published before 8 am every weekday from Wednesday 11 June to Monday 14 July, so that schools – and others – can read it aloud during the day.

As well as being an ongoing adventure story, each chapter will respond to the events of the previous day at the World Cup in Brazil; controversies on and off the pitch, key games, England’s results and the main stories that the broadcast and print media are covering from the World Cup. 

The World Cup toolkit aims to hook young people, and especially boys, into reading by focusing on the events and highlights of the tournament as they happen. National Literacy Trust research in 2012 revealed that three out of four (76%) UK schools were concerned about boys’ underachievement in reading and an estimated 60,000 boys failed to reach the expected level in reading at age 11. 

The toolkit is supported by Frank Lampard, Chelsea and England mid-fielder and supporter of the National Literacy Trust’s football and literacy work. He says: “I think the National Literacy Trust’s World Cup toolkit is a fantastic idea and a great resource for getting kids enthusiastic about reading and writing at a time when the world’s focus will be on football. My own children love hearing stories about football and I think the World Cup is a powerful inspiration for children to enjoy reading and to try writing their own stories.”

To register your interest in the World Cup 2014 resources please visit: