Penguin Book Giveaway - September 2008

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Lots of 'thank U’s' for free book giveaway More than 500 free books were handed out to fans at the Colchester United Vs Walsall match on Saturday.

The aim of the initiative was to promote families reading together and saw hundreds of fans queuing up to claim their free books.

Jeanette East, Colchester United Community Sports Trust Education and Study Support Manager, said: " There was a massive response and it was wonderful to see supporters decked out in Colchester United colours with a hot dog in one hand and a selection of books in the other. Children were sitting on the concourse floor reading together or with their families and they were all really grateful to receive the books for free.”

The Essex Library Service was also in attendance encouraging families to join their local library.

Kick Into Reading

After hugely successful programmes with the likes of Liverpool, Man Utd, QPR, Arsenal, West Brom. Colchester United’s Community Trust were keen to run the KiR with libraries in Colchester and Tendring. They used their experienced football coaches from the Playing for Success Centre, who already run regular sports coaching in local primary schools. Local schools were then targeted to take part at libraries in Clacton, Greenstead, and Harwich with three classes attending on each of the five days.(In Greenstead the word had spread round the whole estate that the library was hosting an event jointly with Colchester United Football Club – which was great kudos for the library).

How was it tackled ?

The children were invited to tell stories of their own football or sports adventures so they could see how stories and sport go together seamlessly.

Pat Ryan then told traditional folk tales and urban myths from around the world. They were about brave and naughty children and some were scary and some disgusting ! The stories involved props, origami and making a chicken out of a towel (ask us for a demo) and the Year 5 & 6 children were really enthralled - and they jumped at the scary bits.

The football coaches made their stories about their own experiences and set them in local places and used favourite footballers as characters.

There were also riddles to test their brains plus jumping, action raps to get them up and moving (even the teachers and library staff couldn’t stop themselves from joining in too).

Then there was time at the end for questions about the library, telling stories, how to get fit by joining in with local sports clubs and how to work for a professional football team. The coaches were seen as great role models even though they weren’t famous players – although some of them were asked for their autographs and were asked to pass messages on to Teddy Sherringham.

Final score

Colchester United say: "Kick Into Reading is an amazing and very inspiring project. Both boys and girls were equally switched on to stories and books by having them linked to football and to their own experiences. Pat Ryan was an excellent storyteller, a football fanatic and a great promoter of libraries. The young football coaches were all great too and were able to share their football experiences as well their stories and they coped really well with a few over enthusiastic characters from some of the schools. The three libraries involved and the ADOs were really pleased and uplifted at being involved in this project. "

A big thank you to Learning Centre Manager, Jeanette East for doing such a great job and making KiR a tremendous success and great fun for all concerned.

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