Reading for a brighter future

PUPILS from local schools were paid a special visit from author Bali Rai as part of the Premier League Reading Stars initiative.

The scheme aims to engage children aged 9-13 years who have a passion for football but lack motivation in reading.

"Most of my friends when I was growing up just didn't read," said Bali.

"I've always had a thing about getting young people to read.

"A lot of my friends that didn't read at school struggled in later life because of a lack of literacy skills."

The reading workshop was held at The Hawthorns and using sport as a way to engage the youngsters has proved beneficial.

"It's a key message for them that actually you can read about sports and hobbies but they won't even know it because they're reading about something they enjoy," explained Katie Grainger, Community Coach for The Albion Foundation.

Meeting the writer had a clear impact on Helen Nock's Glebefields Primary School pupils.

"Having access to a real-life author has been really inspirational for them," said the headteacher.

"I was watching all of their faces and they were really engaged and listening to how they could better themselves and their lives."

A Premier League Reading Stars representative, Bali had kind words to say about Albion's involvement with the initiative.

"It's one of the best schemes in the United Kingdom to improve literacy, so for the Foundation to be involved is awesome."

To find out how you can get the Premier League Primary Stars programme into your school, please email