South Shields captain Jon Shaw swapped the pitch for the classroom as he starred in a South Tyneside school’s World Book Day celebrations.
Shaw read four books to reception class pupils at Monkton Infants School, in Simonside, South Shields, as he showed he is as adept with a book in his hands as with a ball at his feet.
The 35-year-old was joined by SSFC Foundation programme delivery lead Nathan Kew as they kept the children entertained through the power of reading.
Peppa Pig and The Paper Bag Princess were among the books Shaw read to the children as part of the initiative, which aims to promote reading among youngsters.
“Everybody should be reading to their children, and you hope that those we engaged with at Monkton will go home having enjoyed listening to someone read, and will ask their parents to do the same.
“From a club point of view, it’s fantastic because the children will hopefully go home and talk about South Shields.
“It shows another side to our club.
“We pride ourselves on being a family-oriented, community club and if we weren’t willing to go and do things like this, we wouldn’t be standing by what we believe in.”
The club and its foundation have visited schools across South Tyneside over recent months as part of several initiatives.
Kew is delivering a number of programmes in schools and nurseries, mainly centered around PE but with cross-curricular links too.
On the visit to Monkton, he said: “It was a really good morning for the children and ourselves.
“The initiatives that have arisen over the last three to five years are brilliant, because they show literacy as a fun, engaging subject which can be seen in a different light, particularly within Key Stage One.
“It’s important that we push that because it’s the development of the children in our area, which is only going to make better people and a better community.
“Our brand within the area is quite big because of how well the club is doing at the moment.
“It’s good that we use that to promote literacy, and we’re not hiding that’s what we’re doing sometimes in PE.
“We’re trying to create strong cross-curricular links to create better children and a better future for them through the power of sport.”
Click here for full details about the Foundation’s programmes across South Tyneside – including information on how your child can get involved.