Summer 2015 saw the rebrand & relaunch of Reading Agency’s ‘Reading Ahead’ literacy scheme (formerly known as the 'Six Book Challenge’). HNC Library has been involved in running the scheme at Huddersfield New College in the previous two years and were determined to make it third successful year with the new name.

‘Reading Ahead’ was launched in early October 2015 and set students the simple challenge of reading and reviewing six items in their Reading Diary before the Easter holidays 2016. HNC Library offered lots of incentives and support to keep students motivated throughout the 7 month period. With monthly prize draws for each student who completed a review in that time and with the Grand Prize of a Kindle Paperwhite being up for grabs in a prize draw from any students who complete the challenge.

Out of 38 students who signed up, 32% completed by the deadline for the challenge in April. The students who completed all got a Reading Ahead certificate signed by famous and bestselling authors Martina Cole, Andy McNab, Adele Parks & Bali Rai. The students also had first pick from 3 exclusive World Book Night edition books to give them further exciting reading to help keep their reading journey progressing. Student, Shania Howes, was the lucky name picked in the Grand Prize Draw for the Kindle Paperwhite and Saliha Khadim also won the Bonus Prize Draw of a Six Book Challenge Mug and £10 National Book Token.

Student, Abigail Morrison, commented in her Reading Diary, “I’ve started reading more books as a destresser and now I enjoy it more”.

“A perfect example”, says College Librarian, Rebecca Hill, “of the positive benefits of reading that many of us take for granted until we lose this very healthy habit. Hopefully all the students involved will have realised that they can read whatever they want no matter how busy or stressful life can get and their lives will be all the more richer for it.”

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