Many young people struggle to read. England is the only country where 16-24 year-olds have lower literacy skills than 55-65 year-olds, out of 24 OECD countries.1 However, research shows that when we inspire young people to read for pleasure they benefit from far greater opportunities in everyday life, education and employment. Reading Ahead is the gateway to these opportunities. Because everything changes when we read.
Reading Ahead supports young people by changing their perception of reading, opening up opportunities and building their confidence.
Run through public libraries, further education and sixth form colleges and some secondary schools, Reading Ahead invites participants to pick six reads and record, rate and review them in a diary in order to get a certificate. The programme isn't just about books - it's about newspapers, magazines and websites too.
The main activity for Reading Ahead runs through to June each year when those who complete their reading diaries can enter a national prize draw to win some great prizes - a trip to London and e-readers for the runners-up - while organisations can win an author event. Anyone taking part can also use our website for participants to share their thoughts about what they read, enter competitions and find out more about the programme.
Reading Ahead facts
Nearly 22,000 people aged between 16 and 24 took part in 2014-15
93% of survey respondents aged between 16 and 19 in 2015 said they felt more confident about reading after taking part, rising to 96% among 20-24 year olds
The programme is designed to help people improve their reading skills and develop a love of reading at the same time
If you'd like to take part in Reading Ahead or run it in your organisation, get in touch to find out more.