City in the Community has developed a literacy project designed to use the power of football to inspire children

  • John Stones, Kelechi Iheanacho and Manchester City Women’s Jill Scott, Lucy Bronze and Karen Bardsley got involved with the sessions at City Football Academy
  • Supported by Etihad Airways, the project has already been delivered in 26 primary schools within Manchester

Players from Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams joined Year 5 students from E-ACT Blackley Academy to mark a new literacy project designed to bring learning to life through a series of football-themed activities.  

John Stones, Kelechi Iheanacho and Manchester City Women’s Jill Scott, Lucy Bronze and Karen Bardsley joined students as they reviewed match day footage before helping to write up reports. The students then had the opportunity to ask the players interesting questions using their upskilled vocabulary.

Supported by Etihad Airways, along with the Premier League and Professional Footballers Association, the ‘City Stars’ project was created to build children’s confidence in reading, writing and spoken language using examples from the world of football. This is particularly important in Manchester where, according to the National Literacy Trust*, children and young people spend less time reading a book than the national average.

During the six-week project, youngsters are encouraged to write match reports for the City in the Community Gazette, use descriptive words in their City commentary sessions and take part in a specially designed quiz on the Etihad Stadium tour.

Blues defender was impressed with the classroom based activities: ‘It’s great to see City in the Community using football to help educate local children. The project is a fantastic way to build the confidence and knowledge of kids in a fun and engaging way.’

Mike Green, Head of City in the Community said: ‘This season, we are proud to be celebrating 30 years of community work in Manchester and our ‘City Stars’ project is a great example of how the power of football can be used as a tool for social good. Working with partners including Etihad Airways, will ensure this project can reach even more children than ever before.’

Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho does keepy ups as John Stones spells words read out by school children

Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho does keepy ups as John Stones spells words read out by school children

Linden Coppell, Head of Sustainability at Etihad Airways said: ‘At Etihad Airways, we care about every community in every destination we fly to. We want to support communities like Manchester, encouraging children to have fun in the classroom and on the pitch whilst always learning. Etihad’s pioneering spirit and commitment to providing the best experience possible makes this collaboration with City in the Community an exciting opportunity to help educate the youth of today.’

Following a successful pilot of the project earlier this season, 71% of children said ‘City Stars’ made them feel more confident about their reading and writing skills, with 67% of children saying the project had made them more likely to read a book outside school.

To find out more about Manchester City’s work in the community, visit: www.mancity.com/community