Matthew celebrates his sixth birthday with a library of new books courtesy of Kumon!

19 October, 2012

Rhiannon and Matthew

Rhiannon and Matthew, the winning family

You may recall that back in August 2012 Kumon UK ran a nation-wide competition for parents to win a book each week for a year for their child. Well, 15 October 2012 was the special day when we met with the winning family to deliver their first set of books, and what a special day it was.

Rhiannon Redman from Bristol entered the competition to win the books for her son Matthew and her entry was selected from thousands of inspiring entries.

Matthew is quite the book worm and is already reading books expected of children several years older than him at school. We had decided to hold the special prize giving event on this day to coincide with little Matthew’s sixth birthday.

The event was held at Rhiannon and Matthew’s local St. George Kumon Study Centre. Instructor Ziba Mashkuri-Najafi opened the study centre in July 2012 and was thrilled the lucky winner was from her local community.

Upon hearing of her win, Rhiannon said: “I entered after I saw my friend enter on Facebook and I was surprised and happy to have won. We couldn’t believe it! Matthew loves reading and I love reading. Luckily for us he is a builder of words and has passed his enthusiasm on to his sister Ruby.

The Redman family and Ziba from the St. George Centre

The Redmans celebrate with Instructor Ziba

“Reading is not a chore for Matthew and even if he is tired he still wants to read. It’s a brilliant prize and keeps the excitement going as there are new books every month. It’s definitely going to help his reading over the next 12 months. He has told everyone at school about winning the competition.”

Matthew and Rhiannon came to the centre after school with Dad Nick and little sister, three-year-old Ruby. Of course, no sixth birthday celebration would be complete without balloons, a (book shaped) cake and lots of treats, but the main treat was the five brand new books that Matthew had chosen with his Mum to enjoy over the next few weeks.

Matthew’s eyes shone wide with excitement and anticipation as he flicked through the pages of his new books. He chose the following books to begin his collection, which were presented to him by Jessica Abram, Kumon UK Deputy General Manager:
Meercat Mail by Emily Gravett
Stanley Bagshaw and the shortsighted football trainer by Bob Wilson
Monster stones, the story of a dinosaur fossil by Jacqui Bailey
Football academy- boys united by Tom Palmer
The Lorax by Dr Seuss

Matthew reads to Jessica

Matthew reads his favourite book to Jessica

Matthew eloquently thanked the Kumon team members and said: “It’s the best birthday I’ve ever had. I’m glad we won the competition. I will read the books to my sister and share them with her. I like reading because of all the different characters there are, and I’m looking forward to reading all the books.”

Matthew even read a few pages from Meercat Mail to Jessica, before heading off for his birthday dinner. We can’t wait to receive an update from the Redmans about all the adventures they go on as they enjoy 52 new books throughout the next 12 months.

Nick’s final words before he left the centre, cake, balloons and books in hand, were: “I can’t believe we won – we never win anything! Reading for Matthew is not a burden, he just loves doing it. It’s his favourite thing to do along with football. Thank you very much for all the effort you have gone to.”