How Sheffield Star initiative has helped youngsters read newspapers

Arbourthorne Primary School pupils read the Star as part of the reader passport project. Picture: Andrew Roe
Arbourthorne Primary School pupils read the Star as part of the reader passport project. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Today, the Star launches its Reading Passport project.

Ten primary schools from across the city signed up to the initiative, in which a copy of the Star will be delivered to the schools each week for Key Stage 2 pupils to read and enjoy.

Arbourthorne Primary School pupil Alexis Mutware-Bonfils reads the Star as part of the reader passport project. Picture: Andrew Roe

Arbourthorne Primary School pupil Alexis Mutware-Bonfils reads the Star as part of the reader passport project. Picture: Andrew Roe

During the project, which runs for six weeks, the children will complete a series of fun and educational activities that will help them to develop a wide range of skills as they explore the local people, places and events that shape the world around them.

This week, we got the ball rolling by visiting Arbourthorne Community Primary School.

Bradley Ashmore-Wright, aged 10.

Read: A story about the work which has been done to improve the reputation of the Manor.

Arbourthorne Primary School pupils with the Star as part of the reader passport project. Picture: Andrew Roe

Arbourthorne Primary School pupils with the Star as part of the reader passport project. Picture: Andrew Roe

What he said: “I grew up on Manor Top, a lot of people are kind and there are a lot of shops. My cousin runs one of the shops that is pictured. I know some of the people who are quoted in the story, I know Rasta John from boxing. I read The Star sometimes, if my mum and dad buy it. I like reading about the football and the big incidents. My nan loves The Sun, but I read that and think I want to find out what’s happening in Sheffield so I like to read The Star.”

Elise England, aged 10.

Read: A story about a Herd of Sheffield elephant being returned to the city.

What she said: “I enjoyed that the story said how much was raised because that made me happy, the people who donated the money are really kind.

“Our school designed one of the elephants. One of my friends from my class helped to design it. I like the way it’s written, the text is not too big and not too small. My family friend always gets The Star from the shop and he gives them to me to read. I like reading about events, like things for Halloween and bonfire night. The Star is really good to read when you’re bored.”

Paige Woodliffe, aged 11

Read: A story about a man who is fundraising for a homeless charity which helped him.

What she said: “I liked that the story gave lots of details and how it’s set up on the page with the pictures. I think the man is doing a good thing. I read The Star every day. I enjoy reading about crime.”

Kieran Shaw, aged 10.

Read: A story about Fright Night Halloween event

What he said: “Last year, when I was in Year 5, there was this boy in Year 6 and he had his picture taken for the story. I knew who he was so I started reading the story. I didn’t go myself but I will try and get my mum to take me if it comes back next year. I liked the bold writing. When I go to my mum’s she normally has it and it’s in school so I’m trying to read it more often.”

Shanequa Hage, aged 10.

Read: A story about Primark moving premises in the city centre.

What she said: “I enjoyed reading the story. I have been to the new Primark so I liked reading about somewhere I have been. I don’t usually read The Star, but I like to read positive stories.”

Kaitlin Dawson, aged 10.

Read: A story about a once-in-a-lifetime holiday for seriously ill children

What she said: “I liked the way it was written, I liked that the picture has a little bit more information. There were a few words that I couldn’t understand, but I looked at the pictures for help. I read The Star if my dad has it in the house, maybe once every couple of weeks. I like animal stories and crime stories. I think this will encourage me to read The Star.”