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Young north-east football fans can support reading challenge

By Kyle Ritchie

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This year's 4-4-2 Reading Challenge has been launched with Peterhead FC supporting the initiative in the north-east.

It is the third year of the successful programme which is spearheaded by the SPFL Trust, Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), and Scotland’s libraries.

This year’s initiative kicks-off during National Libraries Week 2020 which runs until Saturday, October 10.

The 4-4-2 Reading Challenge aims to encourage reluctant readers to pick up a book and get reading, inspired by the power of football.

The third year of the 4-4-2 Reading Challenge has kicked off.
The third year of the 4-4-2 Reading Challenge has kicked off.

Last season, more children took part in the challenge, with a 60 per cent rise, and more books were read, with a rise of 38 per cent, than the year before.

In the second year of the project, more than 204 libraries and 20 mobile libraries were involved, across 10 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

There were also more than 18,000 pupils who took part, across 84 schools. In total, 3516 books were issued and 468 match tickets allocated for books read.

The 2020 season will look to pick up on the upwards trend that it left off before lockdown.

The initiative centres on a reading “challenge card” which participating clubs and libraries will issue. For every book read, participating children will receive a stamp on their card.

Children aged five to 12 are urged to read four books in exchange for a free child and discounted (minimum 20 per cent) adult match ticket.

These will be valid when supporters can safely return to watch games in stadia.

SPFL Trust chief executive Nicky Reid said: "Attainment is a key priority for the SPFL Trust, being one of five core pillars through which we work.

"The 4-4-2 Reading Challenge is a great way to inspire reluctant readers – particularly boys – to pick up a book and experience the fun and comfort that reading can provide.

"The motivation might initially be the opportunity to see their local SPFL club in action, when it is safe to do so, but we find many children start to realise the joy that comes from reading in itself.

"It's about encouraging children to visit the library, to look at books, and to start to experience the magic.

"We're grateful to the associated community trusts and clubs for their support, and for the support of our partners at the Scottish Library Information Council, who's value insight helps us shape the challenge."

Chief executive at SLIC Pamela Tulloch said: "The 4-4-2 Reading Challenge is a fantastic initiative which encourages library members to further develop their reading skills while at the same time enjoying Scotland's favourite game.

“Children and young people throughout Scotland can borrow books from their local library service in various ways – by visiting a library in person, using a click and collect service or downloading a library e-book from the library website.

"The strong partnership between the SPFL Trust, the participation of the SPFL Clubs and Scottish public library services will boost attainment and reading skills."

Visit spfltrust.org.uk for more details on the challenge.

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