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Albion in the Community (AITC) teamed up with an author who specialises in books about football for an event aimed at encouraging young people to read more.

The football-themed day at ARK Castledown Primary Academy was organised as part of the Get Hastings Reading campaign – an initiative launched by the National Literacy Trust and the Hastings Opportunity Area.

AITC's schools team was joined at the event by Gully, the club’s mascot, and Ben Lyttleton from Football School, a series of...

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Football-themed fun for pupils as part of reading campaign

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Albion in the Community (AITC) teamed up with an author who specialises in books about football for an event aimed at encouraging young people to read more.

The football-themed day at ARK Castledown Primary Academy was organised as part of the Get Hastings Reading campaign – an initiative launched by the National Literacy Trust and the Hastings Opportunity Area.

AITC’s schools team was joined at the event by Gully, the club’s mascot, and Ben Lyttleton from Football School, a series of books which use football to explain wider subjects from across the world.

Pupils were treated to a fun assembly before breaking into smaller groups to tackle football-themed literacy challenges and activities.

Frazer Simpkins, education co-ordinator at AITC, said the charity, which works with more than 100 schools across Sussex, was delighted to take part.

He said: “Get Hastings Reading is a fantastic initiative and to be able to support that campaign alongside Ben, using the superb Football School books, was an absolute pleasure.

“At AITC we use football as a way to inspire young people in their academic studies and I was really impressed with the pupils at ARK Castledown Primary Academy. They engaged brilliantly with our different activities and their hard work and enthusiasm is something they should be very proud of.”

Ben Lyttleton added: “We are passionate about helping children develop a love of reading and a curiosity about the world, and we believe that using football is an excellent way to encourage reluctant readers to pick up a book. Reading for pleasure can have many advantages, with proven benefits including a dramatic impact on educational performance, self-confidence, wellbeing and social mobility, as well as improved vocabulary and imaginative thinking.”

Get Hastings Reading was established by the National Literacy Trust and the Hastings Opportunity Area, with the aim of helping to help to develop a town of confident and ambitious young people with the literacy skills needed to succeed in life. The overall goal is to improve social mobility and raise academic standards in Hastings and the surrounding area.

Graeme Quinnell, manager of the Literacy Hub in Hastings, said: “We know that tapping into children’s hobbies is a great way to get them reading and writing– and unsurprisingly, football is always a winner.

“That’s why we were so pleased to work with Albion in the Community and Football School on this great event.”

For more information on Get Hastings Reading, visit: www.gethastingsreading.org.uk.

Or to find out more about how local schools can work with AITC, email: schools@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.