Shelvey encourages dads to get reading with their children

5th March

Jonjo Shelvey is set to inspire thousands of children in disadvantaged areas of the UK to enjoy and improve their reading over the next year via the Premier League Reading Stars programme run in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

England international Shelvey, who has been chosen as the Swans' 'Reading Star', has revealed that his favourite children's book is 'The Gruffalo's Child' by Julia Donaldson and his favourite adult read is 'The Official Swansea City Quiz Book' by David Brayley.

Shelvey has set reading challenges for participants of Premier League Reading Stars on this online video

This year, several of the players including Shelvey are reading role models in their own families and have chosen books which they enjoy reading at home to their children. The Reading Stars join the Premier League and the National Literacy Trust in calling on dads to take an active role in reading to their child and supporting their literacy.

The Swans midfielder said: "The Gruffalo's Child is already on the bookshelf, ready for when my young daughter starts to learn to read. I pick it up now and again to read to her at bedtime although I have to admit that my partner, Daisy, is much better at portraying the characters than me!"

The National Literacy Trust is a leading partner of the Read On. Get On. campaign which highlights the crucial role of fathers in supporting their child to read. A father reading daily to a five year old means that a child's reading will be almost half a year more advanced than a child read to less than once a week by their father. 

To support their children's literacy, dads (and other family members) can:
•    Get inspired by watching Premier League footballing dads talking about what they enjoy reading with their children at
•    Read for ten minutes a day with their children
•    Take part in the fun football reading challenges with their children by visiting
•    Visit to find book recommendations, activities and tips on making reading and writing fun for children

The Premier League Reading Stars programme uses children's passion for football to motivate them to enjoy reading and to improve their reading levels.

In the programme each Premier League club selects one of its players to become a Reading Star to talk about their favourite books and set reading challenges via online videos.

These challenges are used to support over 30,000 children in 1,000 schools and libraries, who are taking part in a ten-week reading intervention with Premier League branded materials, including certificates, wristbands, reading journals and wall charts.

Premier League Reading Stars is funded by the Premier League. The Welsh Government has renewed funding to deliver Premier League Reading Stars Cymru in schools across Wales in 2015.

To take part in the player reading challenges visit

Schools can sign up to take part in the programme by clicking HERE