SAFC stars brought to book

Sunderland AFC players (centre from left) George Honeyman, John O'Shea and Donald Love with primary school youngsters and Foundation staff

Sunderland AFC players (centre from left) George Honeyman, John O'Shea and Donald Love with primary school youngsters and Foundation staff

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Sunderland stars joined youngsters to celebrate World Book Day today.

The Foundation of Light marked the 20th anniversary of World Book Day with a special celebration at the Stadium of Light.

More than 120 pupils from primary schools across the North East were invited to the home of Sunderland AFC where they enjoyed activities and challenges using the power of football to inspire their love of reading and books.

The youngsters were joined by Black Cats John O'Shea, George Honeyman and Donald Love who picked their 'Roald Dahl XI' based on the weird and wonderful abilities of the authors' magical characters.

Inspired by Michael Rosen's 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' the schools made their way around the Stadium in search of SAFC mascot Samson as well as showing off their moves in Matilda-themed dance sessions led by Foundation of Light's School of Dance teachers.

Throughout the day staff and pupils from the Beacon of Light School explored JK Rowling's world of witchcraft and wizardry with a special Harry Potter 'wand making' workshop while students from the University of Sunderland delivered an Alice in Wonderland-themed session.

John O'Shea said: "This has been a fantastic event and we've really enjoyed seeing the children embrace the activities and demonstrate their passion for books.

"It’s fantastic that through the Foundation of Light we’re able to encourage reading and literacy, and give local schools the chance to celebrate World Book Day at the Stadium of Light."

Amy Jaroszkiewicz, Education Coordinator at Foundation of Light, added: "We were very excited to host this World Book Day event which brought together youngsters in appreciation of reading and books.

"World Book Day encourages children to explore the pleasures of books and reading, as passion which is shared by ourselves at Foundation of Light.

"The event was a huge success and demonstrated our unique way of using the power of football to teach literacy and inspire more children to read."

The Foundation of Light delivers award-winning sports and education programmes for schools and academies across the North East, bringing subjects to life for pupils helping improve attitudes and skills while also increasing enthusiasm and motivation within the classroom.

All sessions are mapped to the National Curriculum in areas including literacy, numeracy, ICT, science, history, physical education, Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) and more. All in-school delivery is suitable for Ofsted inspections.

For more information, contact Schools Sales Coordinator David Dowson on 0191 5515316 or email david.dowson@foundationoflight.co.uk.