NRL boss David Gallop joined stars David Williams and Roy Asotasi and sat down with the children at Manly Village Public School yesterday to read them the story of Willie-Ella, a fairytale surrounding the life and times of Willie Mason.
NRL Chief Executive David Gallop at the launch of Rugby League Reads at Manly Village Public School yesterday, a program aimed at changing children's attitudes towards learning. Picture : BRADEN FASTIER
''It's a great story, it ends with a happy ending for Willie and the Cowboys and that was nice as well, '' Mr Gallop said yesterday.
Willie-Ella is just one of the stories that feature in Rugby League Reads, a new program designed to encourage children from year 3 to year 6 to read more.
The author of the magazines, Suzan Hirsch, is a lecturer in boys' education and has a primary teaching background.
''We did some research on how young boys in particular didn't really enjoy English as a subject, or reading as an activity, but they did love rugby league and would go out of their way to read about rugby league, '' she said yesterday.
''Teaching reading skills can be extremely challenging when students put up a brick wall to reading. This makes it able to knock down the brick wall and motivate children to read.''
And according to 8-year-old student Sasha, it is working a treat. ''I will read these books a lot, and it was great to meet David Williams !'' the Manly fan beamed.