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With Neil Andrews

West Ham United Foundation visit Newham school with Premier League Trophy

The foundation paid a visit to local children alongside the trophy (credit: West Ham United)

The West Ham United Foundation paid a visit to children at a school in Newham – alongside the Premier League Trophy.

Alongside Newham Council, the football club’s charity helped organise a Summer Reading Challenge – an initiative aimed at encouraging schoolchildren to keep up with their reading during the summer holidays.

William Davies Primary School emerged as a standout among the 74 participating primary schools.

In total, 117 children from William Davies Primary School took out six or more books during the holiday period, earning them a special visit from West Ham United’s official charity and an up-close encounter with the prestigious Premier League trophy.

Library Lead at William Davies, Karen Scanlan, emphasised the positive impact on students’ reading and writing skills: “We’ve definitely noticed improvements in our students when it comes to reading and writing.

“It’s definitely improved their reading for pleasure which is the main goal.”

Head Teacher, Sally Norris, a lifelong West Ham fan was thrilled to have the Foundation take over her school for the afternoon.

“Supporting West Ham is not something you choose in my family,” she jokingly remarked. “My grandad played for the West Ham Academy back in the forties and my sister played for the ladies’ team in the eighties.

Speaking towards the impact of associating football and West Ham with learning in the classroom, she continued: “West Ham is the closest football club to our school. It’s an aspirational organisation within the local area. The children look up to the people who have achieved and worked hard at the Club.

“We’ve had a fantastic afternoon. The children are so inspired. It’s lovely to have something that they can say we achieved that.”

While the challenge was initially tailored for primary school-age children, the commitment of William Davies Primary School extended to pupils as young as four years old, showcasing the school’s dedication to promoting reading for pleasure.

“Every half term, we visit the local library just down the road on Green Street,” Scanlan added. “We encourage as many parents as possible to come on those trips, because at this age they are the driving force in terms of encouraging children to pick up reading as a hobby. Every class takes part, so every child has their library card and all the parents know exactly where the library is.

“It’s great to see children like Ismail (aged four) take part in the challenge and have their picture taken with the Premier League trophy. It’s safe to say everyone is feeling very inspired after today and we will for sure be participating in the Reading Agency’s Winter Mini Challenge.”

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