THOUSANDS of pounds will be pumped into helping Five Towns’ youngsters get a grasp on literacy and maths.
More than 1,700 children will benefit from a £105,000 grant which has been awarded to the Featherstone Rovers’ Foundation by Children in Need.
The charitable arm of the rugby league club will use the cash boost to provide after-school support to disadvantaged youngsters struggling with reading, writing and maths.
Laurabeth Jaggar, community development manager for the club, said: “I’m absolutely delighted. This is massive for us and the biggest grant the foundation has ever received.
“We’re going to employ a teaching assistant and support staff for 1,750 children ranging from five to 13 and it’s for those children who display low levels of educational attainment, confidence and self-esteem.
“The idea is that they can improve on their individual skills and communication and respect for others away from the classroom and in a sporting environment.”
Children will be working on an out-of-school programme of maths, literacy and IT at the Featherstone ImpRovers GMB Learning Centre at the Post Office Road ground.
Youngsters will be using club facilities such as the pitch to work out measurements and angles, and visiting the press box to write match reports.
Miss Jaggar said: “After speaking to head teachers at schools and looking at Ofsted reports it was clear to me that there is a need for it and the children in our area will benefit from it.
“Last year the government cut funding to Playing for Success centre which cut our provision to schools – this means we have got that study support back now for at least three years.
“We’ll look at the schools in most need of our help – schools in special measures or in priority areas in the district such as Ackworth and Hemsworth. It’s really going to make a big difference.”
Janet Strong, BBC Children in Need regional officer, said the foundation’s three-year project was “well thought out”. She added: “We are thrilled to be able to support projects like the Featherstone Rovers’ Foundation, and help make a difference to young lives.”