Manchester United star Marcus Rashford, after forcing British government to feed poorer children in school holidays, on Tuesday launched a new crusade to encourage kids to read — this time with official blessing. “I only started reading at 17, and it totally changed my outlook and mentality,” the 23-year-old England striker said. “I just wish I used to be offered the possibility to in point of fact engage with reading more as a child, but books were never a object we could budget for as a circle of relatives when we needed to put food on the table.”
Rashford has teamed up with the publisher Macmillan Children’s Books to launch a series of youth-oriented titles, starting with “YOU ARE A CHAMPION” in May 2021.
Macmillan said each and every chapter will recap narrative from Rashford’s own life and will cover topics such as the value of education, understanding culture, and female role models.
The footballer also plans to launch a book club next year, recommending titles on the Macmillan list.
“There were times where the escapism of reading could have in point of fact helped me. I want this escapism for all children. Not just those that can manage to pay for it,” he said.
This month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government relented anew to Rashford’s campaigning and promised to give free meals to poorer children over the coronavirus-afflicted Christmas holidays.
After one U-turn already for the summer holidays, the government dropped its opposition to extending the scheme over the festive period, and promised to retain it in place over holidays next year.
The government had resisted giving out meal vouchers to tide poorer families over out of doors of term time, preferring to offer give a boost to via its wider welfare system.
But Rashford’s crusade struck a chord with many, particularly with Christmas coming up, and the government had been confronted with steady headlines accusing it of being heartless.
This time, there’s no resistance to the footballer’s literacy push.
“It is improbable that Marcus Rashford is shining a light on the power that books have, and we welcome his book club allowing more children to have the benefit of the enjoyment which books bring,” Johnson’s official spokesman told reporters.
He used to be unable, alternatively, to name the prime minister’s favourite childhood book.
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