CHELSEA'S FAMILY READING PROJECT

60 local youngsters and their parents took part in Chelsea's Family Reading project, which was run by Chelsea Education Officer Wendy Buddin, in partnership with Peter Daniel at the Westminster Archives and Maggie Roche at the Chelsea Library.

The project gave families the opportunity to learn together by attending regular library sessions and completing literacy activities based around Michael Morpurgo's book "The Best Christmas Present in the World," which tells the story of the famous truce of Christmas Day 1914. Both children and adults were captivated by this amazing football story and enjoyed learning about the involvement of their favourite football club in this historic event.

Using original artefact material and articles from the Chelsea Chronicle of the time, the children learnt that Chelsea Football Club had sent balls to the troops to keep up morale and printed their thank-you letters in the programme.

The Latif family from Bosnia and their friends from Montenegro and Kosovo who were part of the Westminster Archive group found the project very moving as they come from a war-zone. Mrs Belma Latif said "My children were interested that history sadly repeats itself, I have enjoyed the project as much as my kids."

The highlight for all was the final celebration event, when award-winning writer and illustrator Michael Foreman gave an illustrated talk on his work and signed copies of his books. Michael lives locally and is a season ticket holder in the Matthew Harding stand.

Despite having worked hard all day both children and parents loved coming to the project after school and were very positive and enthusiastic. "A once in a lifetime experience!" said William from St Vincent de Paul RC Primary.