Rashford launches book club for children

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Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has launched a book club for children.

The England international has teamed up with Macmillan Children’s Books to launch the Marcus Rashford Book Club as he looks to help kids between the ages of five and 18 have increased access to books.

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Rashford’s move comes on the back of his campaign to extend free school meals to children underprivileged children in the UK.

“I only started reading at 17, and it completely changed my outlook and mentality,” Rashford said.

“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.”

Rashford has campaigned for food vouchers during school holidays for children who normally receive free school meals during term time.

Parliament originally rejected a Labour Party motion in October to extend free school meals through to Easter 2021 from the cut-off before the half-term and winter holidays.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson then spoke with Rashford last weekend and confirmed the government would provide an extra £170 million ($223m) of extra finding to the campaign.

Rashford’s campaign to extend free school meals has led to widespread praise, with his former United teammate Romelu Lukaku having told ESPN the 23-year-old deserves “massive respect.”