Libraries in Warrington wanted to build on the existing Reading Activists project and work with more young people in the area to improve their confidence, self esteem and employability and to change their attitudes to reading.
So they set up The Friday Project with a group of eleven young people for two hours a week over a five week period. The young people involved had left education and were all seeking training or employment. They were all between the ages of eighteen and twenty.
Activities in libraries
Library staff worked in partnershipp with the Wolves Foundation and set up a range of activities to develop their skills. Staff made sure the activities were based on the young people's interests by working with them closely and identifiying the areas they were interested in.
The activities included creating storyboards, videos, soundtracks to their favourite books, animations, photostories and vines. Staff also focussed on reading, helping five young people to complete the Six Book Challenge, and encouraging all the young people to read at least two books each.
At the end of the project, young people gave extremely positive feedback. They all felt they had gained confidence in speaking in a group, speaking to new people, asking for help and saying what they thought or felt.
Making a difference to young people
Bobbi, a young woman expecting a baby in the summer has been getting ready for the arrival and preparing her flat with the help of some of the other young people in the group.
At the end of the project she said, "I'm definitely going to read to my baby when she's born. It'll be good."
Corrie, a young man who loves mending cars and bikes, got into reading since being involved in the project, so much so, that one of the other young people commented on it.
"He's halfway through that book you gave him last week already. He can't put it down."
And finally, Sam who is fascinated by wolves, came away with a very positive attitude.
"I can do stuff if I put my mind to it. I'm going to turn over a new leaf."
The young people gained a wealth of skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, communication, evaluation as well as digital and IT skills.
Library staff are already making plans to work with the young people in the future, including encouraging them to become World Book Night Community Book Givers.
Interested in building your CV through volunteering or like the idea of meeting new friends whilst helping out at your local library? Find out more about Reading Activists and what you can do for yourself and for your local community.
Head to your local library to find out more about the Six Book Challenge for adults.
Take part in World Book Night on 23 April - sign up as a Community Book Giver or find an event in your area to attend.