Michael Gove and Graeme Le Saux go back to school for reading drive

Michael Gove (third from left)with Graeme Le Saux (second from left) and pupils at Smithy Street Pri

Michael Gove (third from left)with Graeme Le Saux (second from left) and pupils at Smithy Street Primary School - Credit: Archant

Former premier league star Graeme Le Saux went back to school with education secretary Michael Gove this week to encourage young people to get into reading.

The duo joined bookworms at Smithy Street Primary School in Whitechapel to help pupils to follow in footballers’ footsteps by getting involved in a drive to promote reading.

The Premier League Reading Stars programme has seen top clubs select one player each to talk about their favourite books and set challenges promoting literacy.

Mr Gove said: “I am delighted so many children have been inspired by their footballing heroes to pick up a book and develop a love of reading.

“Many of the children involved in the programme have made huge progress with their reading skills and that is a testament to this initiative.”

Mr Gove joined year 5 pupils to take part in some of the activities put on as part of the programme, which has been running at the school for two years.

Footballers who have lent their support to the scheme include West Ham’s Matthew Taylor and Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker.

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Tottenham Hotspur star Clint Dempsey picked ‘The Hobbit’ as his favourite adult’s book, and ‘Little Blue Truck’ as his favourite kids book.

He said: “Unlike in movies and video games, with reading you get the opportunity to paint your own picture, which gives you power and creative influence over the story.”

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman pointed to Mr Gove’s visit, last Tuesday, as evidence of the success of the borough’s schools.