Beth Mead reads to children for World Book Day

The England football star took part in a football and reading event at the Powerleague Football Pitch in Mill Hill, reports Egle Rameikaite

Lioness Beth Mead reads to children in Mill Hill (Credit – McDonald’s)

A Lioness superstar surprised local youngsters with an appearance at a special football training session in Mill Hill this week. 

Beth Mead took part in the World Book Day Fun Football session at the Powerleague Football Pitch on Tuesday in the run up to Thursday’s international celebration of reading. 

Children in the local area were invited to attend the event dressed as their favourite story characters, with the Arsenal and England ace helping them hone their footballing skills, while also hosting a special reading of Paddington Out and About. 

The session was organised by fast-food chain McDonald’s as part of its commitment to provide millions of free books and football coaching sessions to children across the UK.  

A 2022 report by the National Literacy Trust showed that the numbers of children who enjoy reading are in serious decline while, during the current cost-of-living crisis, 64% of parents say they currently have less money to spend on books for their children than before. 

Beth Mead said: “I know how important it is to get kids reading and active from an early age. More and more we are hearing about how parents are having to make difficult choices when it comes to where they spend their money.”  

She added: “We want to ensure every child can easily access both free books and free football coaching through McDonald’s long running Happy Readers and Fun Football programmes.”

In its 25th year in 2022, World Book Day distributed 50 million £1 book tokens through schools, nurseries, magazines and partnerships, to enable children to get a book of their own, for free. 

CEO of World Book Day, Cassie Chadderton, said: “There are lots of affordable, inclusive and, of course, enjoyable ways to create joy and excitement around reading. Dressing up is a great way to encourage children to read.”

The World Book Day website provides ideas and inspiration to help families and teachers to engage children in reading activities.

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