In response to the challenges of the pandemic and the new ways we have all had to flex our work, The Reading Agency has been reviewing our Reading Ahead programme for 2021 in order to continue to deliver the proven power of reading to tackle life's big challenges.
After collecting feedback from the sectors involved in delivering the programme - colleges, workplaces, prisons and public libraries - we have committed to a new design, new materials and a new website and digital delivery model providing the opportunity to take part in the challenge online for the first time.
This year organisations can choose to take part with a digital pack, a printed pack or a combination of the two! All the exciting changes taking place are outlined below.
The printed pack
We know digital isn't right for everyone. We are committed to providing a reading challenge for less confident adult readers that can be completed off-line to reach those in prison, those with low digital skills and those with limited or no access to a digital version.
For 2021 the Reading Ahead print materials will include:
- Brand new artwork designed by illustrator Leyla Reynolds
- An A4 foldout reading diary with a new layout and more space to write
- An A5 invitation flyer explaining what Reading Ahead is, who it's for and how to take part, that can be distributed to classrooms or directly to wings and cells in a prison setting, slipped inside books being borrowed from the library and displayed on reception desks
- A3 posters
- New bookmarks
- A4 certificates signed by our Reading Ahead author ambassadors
In addition to the printed materials, every organisation taking part - whether digitally or in print - will be able to create an admin account for the new Reading Ahead website.
This admin account will include:
- Access to a new and improved version of the reading database, Find A Read, which is uniquely searchable by reading level and contains books hand-selected by The Reading Agency staff for less confident readers.
- Access to the Reading Ahead resources database: this will include a whole host of downloadable Reading Ahead resources e.g. social media and promotional assets, learning resources, author content, booklists and toolkits.
The digital pack
For those purchasing the digital pack you will be able to create an admin account for your organisation, as above, that will include:
- Access to Find A Read, as above.
- Access to the Reading Ahead resources database, as above.
- A new dashboard that will record and track the progress of your participants. You will be able to track the accumulated total number of books read so far by your participants, how many participants have started the challenge and how many books each participant has read and logged as they progress.
To deliver the programme digitally your participants will be able to create online accounts that will be connected to your organisation.
Each participant account will include:
- A profile for each participant where they can log their reads and see their progress. This will include the opportunity to progress beyond six reads: participants will receive a bronze digital sticker for completing six reads, they can then move on to the next six for a silver sticker and the next six for gold etc.
- Access to the Find A Read database to search for reads
- The opportunity to join the Reading Ahead community as their ratings and reviews visible for all participants to see on Find A Read and they'll be able to see reviews left by other participants.
- The website will include additional content to keep readers engaged including featuring books that are highly rated and recently reviewed by others, information on Quick Reads and the Reading Ahead author ambassadors who sign the completion certificate.
Digital and print combined
In addition to taking part online with a digital pack, organisations may wish to order physical materials to promote the challenge in the library, prison wing, classroom or workplace. Packs of bookmarks, posters and leaflets are available to order in addition to your digital pack.
Finally, we would encourage organisations to award certificates to completers and where possible hold award ceremonies (virtual if required). We will have printed certificates available to order with your digital pack to make this possible.
We will have the usual Reading Ahead branded incentives available such as pens, tote bags and water bottles. In addition to this and thanks to bookshop.org it is also possible to order Quick Reads from The Reading Agency bookshop. Quick Reads provide great Reading Ahead reading content and the perfect incentive. Receiving a book - specifically designed for less confident readers written by some of the UK's most popular authors - for making it half -way or completing the challenge can be the inspiration needed to keep moving forward!
Thanks to generous support from Give A Book, those running Reading Ahead in prisons will be able to apply for free dictionaries to award completers.
Visit our incentives page.
Despite costs rising this year we have committed to a price freeze on our Reading Ahead printed materials. Up until June 2021 we will keep our printed materials at the 2019-20 prices. In addition to the new design and materials included in the 2021 printed packs we are including an organisation admin account for the new website for FREE.
We are also offering a specially discounted introductory price on the new digital packs until June 2021.
We understand that everyone is facing uncertainty this year. We hope this commitment will support your organisation to explore the new digital offer and continue to encourage less confident readers to read for pleasure and benefit from the confidence, skills and opportunities this brings. As ever, thank-you for your support.
To purchase your materials for Reading ahead 2021 visit The Reading Agency Shop
If you have any comments, concerns or questions don't hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reading Ahead 2021 will launch on 1 February 2021 and run until June. Place your order by Friday 11 December 2020 to ensure you receive your materials in time for the launch.