Love Football

To make the most of the excitement surrounding the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the National Literacy Trust and children’s author Tom Palmer have developed a free World Cup toolkit for schools to inspire young people’s reading. The toolkit is also supported by Chelsea and England Mid-fielder and children’s author Frank Lampard.

Kick off the 2014 World Cup

with toolkit set to boost kids’ love of reading

Written by popular football children’s author Tom Palmer, Love Football: Love Reading 2014, is supported by Renaissance Learning and the Football Association. The toolkit for literacy professionals features ideas, activities, resources and posters that schools, libraries and learning centres at football clubs can use to promote reading through sport.


During the five weeks of the World Cup, the National Literacy Trust will publish an original children’s story in twenty-six episodes. Each chapter will be roughly 700 words long (a five to ten minute classroom read) and will be published before 8 am every weekday from Wednesday 11 June to Monday 14 July, so that schools – and others – can read it aloud during the day.


As well as being an ongoing adventure story, each chapter will respond to the events of the previous day at the World Cup in Brazil; controversies on and off the pitch, key games, England’s results and the main stories that the broadcast and print media are covering from the World Cup.

The World Cup toolkit aims to hook young people and especially boys into reading by focusing on the events and highlights of the tournament as they happen. National Literacy Trust research in 2012 revealed that 3 out of 4 (76%) UK schools were concerned about boys’ underachievement in reading and an estimated 60,000 boys failed to reach the expected level in reading at age 11.


The toolkit is supported by Frank Lampard, Chelsea and England mid-fielder and supporter of the National Literacy Trust’s football and literacy work. He says:  “I think the National Literacy Trust’s World Cup toolkit is a fantastic idea and a great resource for getting kids enthusiastic about reading and writing at a time when the world’s focus will be on football. My own children love hearing stories about football and I think the World Cup is a powerful inspiration for children to enjoy reading and to try writing their own stories.”

Tom Palmer, football author says: “When I was a boy it was very difficult to motivate me to read for pleasure. I take part in football writing and projects like this because this is the kind of thing that would have worked for me. And I do it because I think it will work for children today.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust says: “We’re really excited to be uniting the hype around the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with children’s reading in this literacy toolkit. We know from our experience of working with reluctant readers just how powerful football can be in getting children to enjoy reading, which gives them vital skills for the future.”


Donna McIvor National Football Development Manager (Education) at the Football Association says: “The Love Football: Love Reading 2014 project is a fantastic way to celebrate the World Cup and get behind our England Team whilst improving young people’s reading skills, The Football Association are very happy to support this fantastic project and hope it encourages more young people to enjoy reading.”

Dirk Foch, Managing Director of educational software company Renaissance Learning, producers of Accelerated Reader, which is sponsoring the toolkit said: “We know from our annual What Kids Are Reading report that sport and football books are really popular with young readers. Sports related books dominate the list of most read non-fiction books from Year 8, with 15 titles based on sports and seven of those dedicated to football or football stars.

“Through understanding what really appeals to younger readers we can help them to challenge themselves with their reading choices and improve their literacy levels.”

To register your interest in the World Cup 2014 resources please visit: World Cup 2014


You can download chapter one in the World Cup series and from Wednesday 11 June you can download the World Cup story daily here.

The National Literacy Trust is also collecting submissions for a World Cup Reading Football Card poster. Each nation participating in the 2014 World Cup will be represented by a football card featuring a child living in the UK who has a connection to that nation. Instead of regular football cards, which show a player's football statistics, these cards show children's vital reading statistics. You can view an image gallery of the nations we have collected so far or make a submission for one of the nations we're still looking for here.

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