A Cleveland Centre-sponsored initiative that uses the power of football – especially Middlesbrough FC and the Premier League – to boost school attendance levels has been hailed a huge success.
Roary’s Class Acts is a partnership between the Premier League, MFC Foundation, Teesside’s Emmerson Marketing and Cleveland Centre.
The initiative – described by Cleveland Centre manager Graeme Skillen as “a roaring success” – is designed to encourage and inspire local primary schoolchildren to attend school every day.
And every participating school across Middlesbrough, Stockton and East Cleveland has reported an improvement in attendance levels.
The scheme, which has been running for three years, uses Middlesbrough FC’s brand and club mascot Roary the Lion to capture children’s imagination and teach them the importance of attending school.
A range of interactive materials for pupils and schools – including wall charts, stickers, posters and door hangers – encourages and recognises excellence and improving attendance whilst building a culture of healthy competition between schools, classes and children.
Achievement is rewarded with a range of incentives and prizes including certificates, school visits from players and Roary, and Boro match tickets.
A celebration event at Middlesbrough FC’s Riverside Stadium recognised some of the ‘star’ pupils from the programme from Captain Cook, Sunnyside, Riverdale, Thorntree, Green Lane and Whale Hill primary schools.
The youngsters had an afternoon of fun and interactive sessions with MFC Foundation coaches, as well as enjoying a VIP tour of the Riverside.
Cleveland Centre manager Graeme Skillen said: “As a proud Teesside brand, Cleveland Centre has been absolutely delighted to back Roary’s Class Acts from the start.
“It’s a brilliant way for us to engage with young Teessiders and their families in a positive and fun way. It’s wonderful to know that the scheme is proving such a success in improving school attendances levels.”
Matt Emmerson, of Emmerson Marketing, added: “Having helped to conceive the scheme ahead of its launch in 2017, we’ve been delighted to see Roary’s Class Acts grow to become such an influence in local schools.
“It’s fantastic to see well known Teesside brands such as Middlesbrough FC and Cleveland Centre using their influence in such a positive manner.”