Since 2013, the charity Give a Book has worked with The Reading Agency to provide free dictionaries for people completing Reading Ahead in prisons. From 2015, the contribution from Give a Book expanded to include a spelling guide and then a writing guide for those who had already received a dictionary. To date, 46,656 dictionaries and spelling/writing guides had been provided for prisoners by Give a Book.
In 2021, Give A Book distributed 3,648 dictionaries and 3,008 writing guides to people in 43 prisons across the country. This incentive is vital encouraging participants to sign up to Reading Ahead and providing a tool that can improve reading and writing skills and confidence.
Applications to receive free dictionaries to gift to Reading Ahead prisons are open for 2021-2! All prisons taking part in Reading Ahead 2021-2 can apply for free dictionaries to award to completers alongside the certificate. If you haven't started Reading Ahead 2021-2 yet, take a look at our new materials.
"Our lads were delighted to receive these [dictionaries]. The amount of requests we get for the loan of a dictionary never ceases to amaze me so being able to give them to our lads to retain is fabulous.
The boys are aware that they are supplied by The Reading Agency when they complete their Reading Ahead challenge and this helps to get more readers on-board!" - Carol Cadden, Librarian at HMYOI Feltham
"Dictionaries are an incredibly useful resource for prisoners who often do not have access to software with a spellcheck function. These are always a popular and welcome incentive." - Jamie Clarke, Prison Library Manager Norfolk Library Services
"[O]ut of all the incentives I have available in my library it is the dictionaries that encourage the men to take part. The general feedback from the men at Ranby is that having their own dictionary makes them more confident to write letters for family and to work on, and have a better understanding of their case convictions." - Rachel Pearce-Brown, Library Manager at HMP Ranby
"Having my own dictionary is great, I don't have to worry about my spelling anymore and I can learn a new word every day" - Reading Ahead completer at HMP Ranby
**To apply for free dictionaries for your prison, please fill out this short survey.**