More Nescot students than ever before have completed The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge this year.
A total of 43 people on Preparation for Life and Work courses and English for Speakers of Another Language learners took part, led by staff at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC).
This year 21 students read six or more books, taking part was a major achievement because some had never completed a book before.
All those who took part were presented with a certificate at a special event to celebrate their success.
This year, those taking part were matched with Level 3 Business students, who acted as mentors or buddies for the whole challenge, and this approach will feature as a case study on The Reading Agency’s website.
“The students have been reading in the Learning Resource Centre with their buddies, at home and in class,” said IT Advisor Gina Carpenter, who led the challenge on behalf of the Learning Resource Centre.
“What the students have achieved is nothing short of amazing, both for those doing the reading and those giving up their time to act as buddies.”
Gina congratulated everyone who took part, and thanked all the staff and students who gave up their lunchbreaks to help.
Matt Pattinson, a second-year-old second-year Life Skills student, said he’d found reading boring, but wanted to give the Six Book Challenge a go.
“I read Harry Potter. It was hard, but I finished it,” he said.
“I've never read a book of that size before, and I was really proud of myself. Now I like crime stories, and reading has helped me in my Level 1 English exam.”
Daniel Wolff, who is 19 and taking Entry Level 2 Vocational Studies, didn’t think his reading was good enough to complete the Six Book Challenge, but he completed three Dr Who books.
“Now I'll also read at home – I enjoy it, it helps me to switch off,” he said.
“I’m pretty confident now about reading, and that helped me with the English assessment we had.”
Sheena Carmichael, a first-year BTEC Level 3 Business student, who worked all year on the project along with Sam Cole, Danny Thibeault, Jack Painter, James Cole and Alex Young, said she’d learnt a lot from the project.
“It’s made me see reading in a new way, but I’ve also learnt a lot more about people and their experiences in life,” she added.
The LRC staff are already planning for the next year’s challenge, which they hope will be extended to include students studying GCSEs and Functional Skills.
The Six Book Challenge, organised by The Reading Agency, invites adults to choose six titles and record the reading in a diary to get a certificate.
The initiative aims to build the confidence and motivation of the one in six adults who struggle to read and therefore improve their chances in life.