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De Jong Books In As Our Reading Star

Siem De Jong has joined 19 other Premier League players to use the motivational power of football to encourage children to improve their literacy skills.

As part of the Premier League Reading Stars programme, Newcastle forward Siem De Jong and his fellow professionals will set literacy challenges and talk about their favourite books, sharing their love of reading online at

The National Literacy Trust programme, which is now in its 11th year, targets primary and secondary pupils through football, encouraging them to enjoy reading. It sees every Premier League club nominate a player as their Reading Star.

So Siem – Newcastle’s Reading Star – selected his favourite children’s and adults’ books to go on the recommendation list. He picked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, as his favourite children’s book, with Angels and Demons by Dan Brown selected for adults.

The challenges are used to support more than 30,000 children in 1,000 schools and libraries, who are taking part in a ten-week intervention with Premier League branded materials, including wristbands, reading journals and wall charts.

Cragside Primary are one of the schools partaking in the programme, where Foundation staff delivered a session on literacy and the importance of reading as part of the reading stars initiative.

Years four, five and six from the Newcastle based school all took and marked the programme a success, leaving one child over the moon

“This has been so much fun, I’ve never realised how much fun reading can be.”

James Keep, project officer at the Foundation, said:

“The pupils absolutely loved the session we delivered on Reading Stars. It was great to see so many interacting, and the use of Premier League footballers really helps the children engage”

Premier League Reading Stars, which is delivered by the National Literacy Trust and funded by Arts Council England and the Premier League, started in 2003.

For more information on how you can get involved

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