Sunderland AFC celebrate 20 years of World Book Day

As World Book Day reached its 20th anniversary, the Foundation of Light celebrated at the Stadium of Light.

More than 120 pupils from across the North East were invited to the home of the Black Cats where they took part in activities and challenges using the power of football to influence their love for reading and books.

Players John O’Shea, George Honeyman and Donald Love joined the youngsters who picked their ‘Roald Dahl XI’ based on the weird and wonderful abilities of the authors’ magical characters.

The schools made their way around the stadium to hunt for Sunderland AFC mascot Samson which was inspired by Michael Rosen’s ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’.

The Foundation of Light’s School of Dance teachers worked with the youngsters to show off their moves in a Matilda-themed dance session.

During the day staff and pupils from the Beacon of Light School explored JK Rowling’s world of witchcraft and wizardry with Harry Potter ‘wand making’ workshop, while students from the University of Sunderland delivered an Alice in Wonderland-themed session.

Sunderland AFC captain, John O’Shea, said: “This has been a fantastic event and we’ve really enjoyed seeing the children embrace the activities and demonstrate their passion for books.

“It’s fantastic that through the Foundation of Light we’re able to encourage reading and literacy, and give local schools the chance to celebrate World Book Day at the Stadium of Light.”

Amy Jaroszkiewicz, Education Coordinator at Foundation of Light, added: “We were very excited to host this World Book Day event which brought together youngsters in appreciation of reading and books.

“World Book Day encourages children to explore the pleasures of books and reading, as passion which is shared by ourselves at Foundation of Light.

“The event was a huge success and demonstrated our unique way of using the power of football to teach literacy and inspire more children to read.”

The Foundation of Light delivers award-winning sports and education programmes for schools and academies across the North East.

They bring subjects to life for pupils which help improve youngsters attitudes and skills while also increasing enthusiasm and motivation within the classroom.

All of the Foundation’s  sessions are mapped to the National Curriculum in areas including literacy, numeracy, ICT, science, history, physical education, Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) and more.

All in-school delivery is suitable for Ofsted inspections.

For more information, contact Schools Sales Coordinator David Dowson on 0191 5515316 or email

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