Children go into the Christmas holidays playing football and rapping for more reading pleasure
Street football icon Touzani played letter football with children in Amsterdam
In short

Rapper Dio and street football icon Touzani have been creative with language with children from Utrecht and Amsterdam. During the bollebozen events, Touzani played letter football with them and Dio made a rap with the children. In this way, the children are also playfully involved with language during the Christmas holidays and they experience the pleasure of reading. That is very important, because reading is not only fun, it is also extremely valuable for their development. bollebozen is the initiative of to contribute to equal opportunities for children in the Netherlands and Belgium.

For more than twenty years, the reading performance of primary school students has been falling sharply, according to the international PIRLS study that maps the reading skills and reading motivation of ten-year-olds. In 2001, the Netherlands was still in second place in the ranking. In 2016 fourteenth. Apart from France, no other country has experienced such a sharp decline in the reading level of ten-year-olds. The Netherlands also dangles at the very bottom of the ranking in terms of motivation. A third of the pupils in group 6 do not like reading. Especially children who grow up in an underprivileged environment have less access to books during school holidays. It is an extra big challenge for them to keep their reading level up to standard.

Creative with language
That is why organized bollebozen events with local schools and football clubs during the Christmas holidays in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Antwerp. Accompanied by their heroes, the children got to work with words and letters and worked on their language skills in a playful way. Rapper Dio challenged the children to create their own rap, where they had to put together the right words and sentences into a real masterpiece. Street football player Soufiane Touzani gave a football clinic in which the children played letter football and formed words.

Soufiane Touzani: “I am very happy that I can contribute here. I also have children myself so I know that reading is super important and that, especially these times, you have to challenge your child to make reading fun. At the bollebozen event, if you are attending live, you will notice that this is transmitted. A little seed has been planted. Hopefully, it will also be harvested that these children become excellent in reading comprehension.” bollebozen believes it is important that all children come into contact with the magical world that comes to life by reading books. But unfortunately that is not reality for every child. Jori Ebskamp , Lead CSR & Sustainability at “It is important to us not only to support social initiatives, but also to set them up ourselves with the bollebozen. It was wonderful to see how we could let children enjoy and play with the bollebozen events during the Christmas holidays, while contributing to their reading pleasure.”

About bollebozen and Letterpretpakketten
At the events, every child also received a Letterpretpakket from bollebozen, full of fun items to stimulate the pleasure of reading and to keep them entertained for the rest of the Christmas holidays. Bollebozen is an initiative of and was created to offer children in the Netherlands and Flanders equal opportunities. By conveying and fostering the joy of reading and stories, but also by helping to develop their digital skills. Throughout the year, bollebozen is committed to a good story with a happy ending for every child with countless initiatives.

In addition to organizing the events during the Christmas holidays, bollebozen donated 30,000 Letterpretpakketten to schools, in collaboration with the Jeugdeducatiefonds and the Jarige Job Foundation. These fun packages contain fun reading books, activity books and games to experience the pleasure of reading in a playful way.

Touzani starts a game of street football with children in Utrecht
Dio makes a rap with children in Utrecht