World Book Day 2017 was an occasion to remember for pupils in year four at Chorley St James’ Primary School earlier as Wigan Athletic first-team stars Shaun MacDonald and James Weir helped to celebrate the event.
Shaun and James joined in with pupils to take part in literacy activities based on a short story by children’s author Tom Palmer before signing autographs for delighted young Latics fans.
The aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.
It is the biggest celebration of its kind and is marked in over 100 countries across the world.
Wigan Athletic were supporting World Book Day as part of Premier League Primary Stars, which sees specialised coaches from the Community Trust provide free P.E sessions for primary schools whilst also offering mentoring and support to teachers to increase their knowledge around P.E.
Shaun said: “The session brought back memories from when I was their age. It’s obviously an important time of these kids’ lives when they’re learning to read and write, and they were a very intelligent group who seemed to really enjoy the session."
He added: “It’s important for us as players to put ourselves out there at these sort of visits because the kids look up to people like us. Hopefully they’ve learnt something off us and will have had plenty of happy stories to tell their parents when they got home.”
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event in the UK, the Premier League launched a new book box scheme to help improve kids’ literacy levels, with 2,000 book boxes being sent to primary school teachers as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme.
Claire Greenway, Head Teacher at Chorley St James’ Primary School, said: “The response from the children was amazing as they all cheered when the players came in. Reading is such an important life skill for every child, so having an event such as World Book Day really helped to stimulate the children and nurture their love of books.”
The Community Trust work at Chorley St James’ Primary School on a weekly basis, and provide sports sessions to pupils based around the national curriculum for P.E.
Sam Greenway, year four pupil at Chorley St James’ Primary School, said: “I don’t really know what to say, it was absolutely brilliant to have the players visit us. I just love watching Wigan play and it was amazing that two of the players came to our school to celebrate World Book Day with us.”
To find out more about the Premier League Primary Stars programme, please contact Schools Services Manager Gareth Nolan on 01942 318090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.