23rd May 2016

Premier League Reading Stars graduate with honours


St Aldhelm’s Academy pupils are among the first ‘graduates’ of AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League Reading Stars programme.

Eighteen Year 7 pupils have successfully completed the 10-week literacy scheme and marked their achievements with an “end of season” celebration.

Premier League Reading Stars is run by the Premier League and the National Literacy Trust and AFC Bournemouth joined the scheme after being promoted to the Premier League last summer.

Staff from AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust have come into St Aldhelm’s every week for the past 10 weeks to engage students in literary challenges and games designed to boost their interest in reading.

Cherries’ striker Callum Wilson, the scheme’s ambassador, also supported the pupils and was interviewed by them during a special Q&A session at the Vitality Stadium.

During a graduation ceremony at the school, the Reading Stars took to the microphone to tell an audience of their parents and fellow pupils about their favourite aspects of the course.

Many of them also revealed they have read 10 books or more during the programme.

They all received certificates and Cherries goody bags and a Cherries football shirt was presented to pupil Jamie Hart for his exceptional performance during the course.

AFC Bournemouth’s Head of community Steve Cuss, ┬ásaid: “The St Aldhelm’s pupils really took to the scheme and were a pleasure to work with, putting in a lot of effort and really enjoying the football-themed books and activities.

“One of the highlights for them was undoubtedly meeting Callum Wilson and talking to him about his school days and what he likes to read.

“They have now become ambassadors of the scheme and we are looking forward to returning to St Aldhelm’s and working with another group of Year 7s.”

Dagmar James, literacy resources manager, said: “This excellent course has really excited the pupils about reading and greatly increased their confidence.

“Indeed, when Steve asked for volunteers to read in front of the large graduation audience, almost all of them put their hands up.

“We are very grateful to AFC Bournemouth for choosing us to take part and look forward to them returning to meet a new group of Reading Stars very soon.”

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