WATFORD footballers are helping students at The Harefield Academy improve their reading and literacy.
Apprentices from Watford FC visit the school once a week for paired reading sessions with year seven students.
The project aims to show children that their local heroes, contrary to some cruel jibes about the intelligence of footballers, are interested in reading, and that it is part of their daily lives.
Principal Lynn Gadd said: “These young men have become our reading champions.
“As well as improving reading skills it also helps to develop a love of reading, increase confidence and self-esteem and give the students a sense of achievement and of being valued.”
She said because sportsmen’s status is aspired to and their activities imitated, reading becomes an activity for children to aspire to as well.
Pupil Shane Plant was presented with the award for most improved reader last month.
He said: “I feel confident to read to people now. Since I started reading I am now a much stronger reader than I was before.”
The young footballers sign the homework planners belonging to the students every week, which Mrs Gadd said has been incredibly motivating for the sports-loving students.
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