The Highland launch of the pioneering 4-4-2 Reading Challenge was launched yesterday in Inverness.

Representatives of Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County joined a class of children at Bun-sgoil Ghaidhlig Inbhir Nis to enjoy a special storytelling session.

It is the second year of the popular scheme which encourages children aged five to 12 to read four books in exchange for match tickets. This year, 14 SPFL clubs and local libraries are taking part.

SPFL Trust chief executive Nicky Reid said: “The 4-4-2 Reading Challenge initiative is designed to encourage children who don’t regularly visit the library or attend sport to do so. As such, we think it’s a real win-win opportunity for all concerned. I would like to thank the SPFL for their continued support in funding the project, which has engaged with more than 20,000 kids in its first year, and we hope this can continue to grow and inspire children to read.”

Emotional Wellbeing

The project is a joint venture between SLIC, the SPFL Trust, Scottish Book Trust and Bord na Gaidhlig. Every time a child reads a book, they receive a stamp on their ‘Challenge Card’. Once they have four stamps they receive a free match ticket. Accompanying adults can also purchase a discounted ticket.

SLIC Chief Executive Pamela Tulloch added: said: “Reading for pleasure has a huge impact on the emotional wellbeing of people.  For children and young people, reading regularly can help improve literacy and learning.  But reading is an activity that must be practised, and we fully support initiatives that encourage children to read often and to explore various genre and material.

“This is where libraries offer a valuable service; they are welcoming, accessible and trusted spaces, where children can learn and grow their imagination with a range of reading activities.  We hope the 4-4-2 Reading Challenge encourages more children to read more and to develop a long-term love of reading.”

You can find out more about the 4-4-2 Reading Challenge by visiting the SPFL Trust website.