Frank Lampard backs literacy campaign

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is championing child literacy for The Reading Agency. The England International, whose own book, Frankie’s Magic Football, launches on June 6th 2013, is pledging his support for The Summer Reading Challenge.

Father of two, Frank says, ‘Reading with my children is incredibly important to me and a wonderful way to spend time together as a family… I hope that many boys and girls will be inspired this summer to take up The Reading Agency’s Challenge and enjoy all of the brilliant books available to them at their local library.’

The initiative challenges those aged 4-11 to read six books over the summer holidays and children can sign up at their local library from July 13th 2013.

The Reading Agency a charity with a mission to inspire more people to read more. We work with many partners but in particular with libraries because they offer everyone equal access to books and reading. They run creative programmes, which help people feel inspired and confident about reading. Reading can help take you out of unemployment, into education, connect you to your community, raise your spirits and fire your imagination.

Frank’s support will be particularly important in inspiring boys at primary school to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge. There is long-standing concern about boys’ reading, explored in depth by the 2012 Boys Reading Commission. 76% of UK schools say boys are not doing as well as girls in reading. Boys’ attitudes towards reading, the amount of time they spend reading and their achievements in literacy are all poorer than girls. By the time of GCSEs the gender gap in achievement is 14%. Across OECD countries, 52% of 15 year old boys read for enjoyment, compared to 73% of girls , and this gap is widening.

Evidence shows that boys respond well to reading materials that emphasise their interests, and to positive male role models who encourage reading. Frank Lampard’s high profile and footballing track record makes him an ideal champion for the Summer Reading Challenge. He is vice-captain for Chelsea FC, the club’s highest scorer of all time and an England international player.

Last year 4,382 young volunteers aged 11 to 24 applied to help out with the Summer Reading Challenge and gain valuable new skills and experiences for their CVs. The endorsement of a football hero will encourage many more young men to get involved.

Miranda McKearney says: “What a thrill, to have Frank Lampard become a champion for the Summer Reading Challenge in libraries. We need new approaches to crack society’s literacy problems and help boys feel differently about reading. The combination of Lampard’s celebrity involvement with the freedom and fun of the Challenge will be extremely powerful.”

Frank Lampard’s own book Frankie vs the Pirate Pillagers, which is the first in a new series, appears on this year’s Creepy House themed book list which offers age-appropriate suggestions of what to read. Lampard is also one of six authors who have contributed an exclusive story to the Summer Reading Challenge website for children to add to, in the popular Finish The Story, Share the Glory competition that launched last year.

Watch the Video: