Reading Ahead

Reading Ahead

Photo of two teenage boys sat with an adult man looking at a book. There are bookshelves in the background.

What is Reading Ahead?

Reading Ahead builds reading confidence, skills and encourages everyone to read more. Run in prisons, public libraries, colleges, adult community learning settings and workplaces, Reading Ahead engages people in the joy of reading, often for the first time, which in turn helps them to improve their language and literacy skills. 

Participants choose six reads: books, magazines, recipes, letters – anything! After completing each read, they share their thoughts on what they’ve read by filling out a review in a personal Reading Diary and work towards receiving a certificate of achievement. Readers can use our reading database to search for material at the right reading level and practitioners can access a hub of supporting guidance, learning resources and promotional materials on our Resources database.

Who is it for?

Reading Ahead is aimed at young people and adults who are less confident readers and those who want to improve their literacy and language skills or get back into reading. It is run in by UK prisons, public libraries, colleges, adult community learning centres and workplaces. 

A middle aged man in a library smiles reading a copy of Nightingale Point by Luann Goldie
An icon of a person sitting and reading a book.

Adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction

Reading for pleasure enhances empathy and the ability to understand others’ identities


Prisoners champion Reading Ahead

To fulfil our aim of extending the reach and impact of Reading Ahead in prisons, we are piloting a new approach under the name Reading Ahead Champions.

The Reading Agency

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