Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford says he is keen to offer ‘escapism’ through reading after launching a children’s book club.
Rashford has launched an initiative alongside Macmillan Children’s Books in order to promote reading for children of all social backgrounds, with the scheme hopeful of improving the availability of books and improving literacy to those less privileged.
The England international’s book club comes following his activism in a bid to end child food poverty, the 22-year-old having spearheaded an inspiring campaign to ensure underprivileged children are provided with access to free meals during the school holidays.
His bid to combat child hunger led to a Government u-turn on their decision and saw £400m pledged to support the cause, with Rashford insisting the funds would make a huge difference to the lives of almost 1.7million children.
Rashford’s work outside of football has been rightly commended with the youngster having used his notable platform to make significant changes, his story from humble beginnings to successful star and passionate activist inspiring.
Imagine if all children were on an equal playing field. Imagine if we all started at the line equal instead of 20 yards behind. Imagine children waking up believing that their dreams could come true. Imagine what that belief could do for the future of this country…
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) November 16, 2020
Rashford’s latest positive contribution to society comes despite a well-known media outlet running a ridiculous story on his personal life this week, the Mail scraping the bottom of the journalism barrel with a thinly-veiled jibe in the direction of the Manchester United star and his apparent lack of right to invest the fruits of his sporting labour in providing for his family.
The forward has spoken of the launch of his scheme alongside Macmillan and of his desire to ensure all children start at an ‘equal line’ when it comes to education, insisting picking up reading as a teenager changed his ‘outlook and mentality’.
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) November 17, 2020
“I only started reading at 17, and it completely changed my outlook and mentality,” Rashford said upon the launch of the scheme. “I just wish I was offered the opportunity to really engage with reading more as a child, but books were never a thing we could budget for as a family when we needed to put food on the table.
“There were times where the escapism of reading could have really helped me. I want this escapism for all children. Not just those that can afford it. We know there are over 380,000 children across the UK today that have never owned a book, children that are in vulnerable environments. That has to change. My books are, and always will be, for every child, even if I have to deliver them myself. We will reach them.”
“Let our children read that they are not alone and enable them to dream. Equip them for obstacles and adversities they might face. Allow them to relate to characters by making sure people of all race, religion and gender are depicted correctly and representative of modern society. No matter where you grow up, talent should be recognised and championed.”
Rashford’s first book, ‘YOU ARE A CHAMPION: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice And Be The BEST You Can Be,’ is set to be released in May 2021 and will cover topics such as the positive mentality, education, cultural understanding and female role models.