Our annual reading challenge for less confident readers, Reading Ahead, has been launched by top crimewriter Ann Cleeves for its 12th year.
Interviewed about her new book Wild Fire, the eighth and last in her Shetland series, Ann talked about how the island community has influenced her writing. She also stressed the important role of public libraries and their contribution to her own success over the years. Ann was speaking at an event hosted by UNISON who have worked for several years with The Reading Agency to support reading for pleasure in the workplace.
GCSE student wins top prize
Ann Cleeves has also supported Reading Ahead by pledging to include the name of this year's winner of our national prize draw in one of her future books. Karan Pabla, aged 18, took part in Reading Ahead while he was studying for his English GCSE at Derby College. He says: "The Reading Ahead challenge had a massive impact on the way I read and write. It allowed me to develop my vocabulary and other vital skills that I could use in lessons and everyday life to great effect. I thought it was a fantastic challenge, as it gave me the opportunity to read, and write about books that interest me." Karan is back at Derby College this September to take a computing course.
Roll of Honour for 2017-18
Reading Ahead reached 38,500 young people and adults in 2017-18: 18,500 through learning providers such as further education and sixth form colleges, 12,000 in prisons, 6,500 through public libraries and 1500 in workplaces.
This year 68 organisations have helped 50 or more people to complete the Reading Ahead programme, with 23 achieving 150 or more completers. Our stars are The Manchester College with 568 completers, Guy's Marsh prison in Dorset with 329, the library service in Warrington with its partners who supported 377 and an NHS Trust in Glasgow which had 188 completers among its staff. See the full Reading Ahead 2017-18 Roll of Honour for the complete list of top-performing organisations.
Reading Ahead increases confidence in reading
Our impact evaluation this year shows that:
o Those surveyed before and after taking part in Reading Ahead report an increase in enjoyment, confidence in reading and use of the library to borrow books;
o 65% of all survey respondents feel more confident about reading and will read more after taking part in Reading Ahead;
o Organisations running Reading Ahead are even more positive than last year about the impact of the programme on participants with 96% reporting increased confidence in reading, 95% increased enjoyment, 92% increased frequency and 88% improved literacy skills.
Order your print materials and incentives from our online Shop now to take part in Reading Ahead 2018-19.
See our resources page for downloadble guidance, templates and case studies.