Reading Ahead is the new name for the Six Book Challenge.
Three years ago, Robert Nunn would never have picked up a book to read for pleasure. Earlier this year, he won a prize for being one of the first among over 200 Southend Adult Community College students to complete the 2015 Six Book Challenge. The college works closely with Southend Libraries to deliver the programme.
Robert, 59, chatted to us recently about his inspirational achievement:
I was really nervous when I first heard about the Six Book Challenge from Judith, who is my tutor on the 'English: returning to work' classes I've been doing at Southend Adult Community College. I'd never really read anything, so I was panicking. I thought, "Can I really read that number of books?" But I was surprised; doing the Six Book Challenge wasn't too bad actually, and some of the books I read at college to complete it were interesting.
My favourite was a book called Bob And Tim At The Pub - I liked it because it is about a couple of men just like me and it was not too difficult. In fact, I just sat down and read it straight through. My tutor helped me to choose some books that I could read.
"It's increased my confidence and I would like to do it again"
I liked reading to complete the Challenge. Have a go at it, because it's good and it's fun - especially when you get a certificate! I couldn't believe it when I heard I had won the prize of six Quick Reads books, but I was nervous when I had to receive them from the Mayor of Southend. It was good to win the books and now my wife is reading them too.
I still need help with my reading, but the Six Book Challenge has encouraged me because now I know I can read books. So it's increased my confidence and I would like to do it again. If anyone else is not sure about it, I would say "Go for it. Just sign up and have a go."
Robert was one of the first students at his college to sign up for Reading Ahead, the new name for the Six Book Challenge. Find out more about Reading Ahead
Find out more about Quick Reads