Randolph is a Reading Star!

Darren Randolph is supporting the National Literary Trust scheme
West Ham United’s Darren Randolph is aiming to inspire schoolchildren to enjoy reading, as the Club’s Reading Star this World Book Day.

The goalkeeper signed up to help support the Premier League Reading Stars programme, an initiative run in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, which aims to inspire children to read.

The programme – now in its 13th year – sees each Premier League club select one player to become a Reading Star, talk about their favourite books and set reading challenges via online videos.

During the launch of the initiative, Randolph selected “A Very Special Mouse and Mole” by James Mayhew as his favourite children’s book and “The Blind Side” by Michael Lewis as one of his most recent reads.

Randolph said: “Reading is something I really enjoy. It’s a great way to relax and as a footballer, we have a lot of time in between games. I tend to read on the way to games, on the train and in the hotel.

“I actually struggled with reading at school, but the older I’ve got, and the more I’ve read, the more I enjoy it. Once you’ve found a subject you really enjoy, and then you’re away, it’s fantastic.”

This year, Premier League Reading Stars has launched a brand new digital resource, which boasts 60 online challenges. The website extra-time.org can be used at school, in a library or at home, which means parents can get involved too.

By completing literacy activities, participants can unlock exclusive rewards, including video clips of their favourite players, signed certificates and player profiles. In addition to access to the website and downloadable resources, teachers receive a box of books, National Literacy Trust Network membership and a toolkit and physical resources to run 10 Premier League Reading Stars sessions.

Studies show that Premier League Reading Stars has had a positive impact on both children’s reading enjoyment and attainment. In 2014/15, there was a 50 per cent increase in the number of children who enjoyed reading at the end of the programme and, in the previous year, three out of four pupils’ reading levels increased by six months or more. 

Premier League Reading Stars Senior Programme Manager Marian Keen-Downs said: “The National Literacy Trust’s Premier League Reading Stars programme has been designed for reluctant readers. It targets pupils, particularly boys, who love football but don’t see the relevance of reading to their lives.

For any fan, learning about the current season is hugely appealing and we use that appeal to stimulate reading and build reading stamina.”

For more information on Premier League Reading Stars or to sign up your school, click here.