Never one to see a person sit on the bench for long, Marcus Rashford is now ready to take on literacy after tackling child hunger last year. Teaming up with powerhouse publisher, Macmillan, the England footballer is launching a book club that will provide books to disadvantaged children in 850 primary schools across England and Scotland.
Over 50,000 books have been donated for the club from Macmillan, which will kick off in June this year. Children who attend the Magic breakfast clubs, which Rashford partnered with last year during his initial crusade to support young people and their families, will be able to access free books. The first title available for readers aged 8-11 will be Pooja Puri’s middle-grade debut A Dinosaur Ate My Sister.
Speaking about the club and how vital books are to young children, the Manchester United star said “For too long, the joy of reading has been restricted by whether or not a family has the contingency budget to purchase books. The children who often miss out are those on free school meals and users of breakfast clubs, who more than likely need fiction, and non-fiction, to escape reality from time to time. We haven’t been affording these children the option of reading for fun but that changes today.”
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A 2019 report into youth reading from the National Literacy Trust proves that this latest initiative from Rashford is essential in encouraging young readers. With one in 11 disadvantaged children not owning a book of their own – something has to be done. The 23-year-old footballer teamed up with Macmillan last year to support the aspirations of young people and will be publishing his book YOU ARE A CHAMPION: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice and Be the BEST You Can Be, in the coming months targeted at 11 to 16 year old readers.