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Players surprise primary school students with a visit

City players visited pupils at Greenfields E-ACT Primary Academy to celebrate World Book day and to mark the launch of a new reading initiative developed by the trust, ‘Reading Robins’.

Players Lloyd Kelly and Callum O’Dowda treated students at Greenfield Primary E-ACT Academy with a visit on Wednesday, March 6th. The players spent time reading with the students as well as taking part in a penalty shootout, answering questions from the students and signing autographs.

In addition to this Kelly and O’Dowda discussed the importance of reading with the youngsters and how reading plays an important part in their jobs as professional footballers.

The Reading Robins education initiative is a new programme developed by Bristol City Community Trust with the aim of improving the reading ability of specifically selected year five and six students through interlinking reading with football.

The Trust have been working with Greenfield Primary E-ACT Academy for just under three years as part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme and following the success of this, the school was keen to be involved in the new Reading Robins initiative.

Head of the programme at the Community Trust James Howiantz said, “The Premier League Primary Stars programme that we have been running with the school has obtained really positive results from the students and we are launching Reading Robins to build on this success.

“The aim of the programme is to get the kids – particularly those who are perhaps more reluctant readers – excited and engaged in reading by using football as a theme.”

Head teacher, Mr Tooth, told the trust that “(the work of the Bristol City Community Trust) has been particularly successful because it enables the children to see their role models coming in and working with them on their academic subjects.”

Pupil, Kobi, told the trust that, “It was the best day ever because we got to meet Callum O’Dowda and Lloyd Kelly. It was such a great experience to read to them, I would love to do it again.”

His peer, Ellie, said, “I enjoyed meeting Callum and Lloyd. I scored a penalty against Lloyd Kelly and I was on Callum’s team. Callum told me that I was a great reader!”