A record number of young people and adults in Manchester have championed reading this year and successfully completed the Reading Ahead challenge.
Almost 2,000 participants of all reading abilities read six things - including books, magazines, comics and more – and recorded, rated and reviewed them in a special diary.
Manchester Reading Ahead has formed a key part of the Read Manchester campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust. Developed by The Reading Agency, the challenge promotes reading for pleasure, helping local participants get into the habit of reading regularly and building their reading confidence. This can have a significant impact on their literacy skills and wellbeing.
From April 2017, Manchester Reading Ahead diaries were distributed to a range of organisations across the city, including children’s centres, Manchester Credit Union, JMW Solicitors, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, the Youth Council and the Prince’s Trust. Manchester College and Manchester Adult Education Service also took part after successfully running the initiative in previous years.
Reading champions were identified within each organisation to recruit participants, recommend reads and encourage their colleagues to complete the challenge. Young people and adults could also sign up to take part in the challenge by visiting their local library. A total of 1,961 diaries were completed, the highest number ever recorded in Manchester.
Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said: "It's been very encouraging to see so many people of all ages take part in this year's Reading Ahead challenge.
"Reading for pleasure can make a big difference to people's lives and their chances of success, and further improving literacy levels across the city is a key priority for us."
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust said: “The reading habits of parents and adult family members have an important impact on children’s attitudes towards books and reading, which are closely linked to their attainment at school. Manchester Reading Ahead has proven to be a fantastic way to promote positive reading behaviours at home and inspire the whole family to spend time reading together.”
Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency, said: "Reading Ahead is designed to encourage adults to read more, to help them develop their own skills and to give them the confidence and motivation to read with friends, family and their children. We are delighted to see just how effectively it has helped the inspiring Read Manchester campaign to achieve its ambitions."
Manchester Reading Ahead is part of a programme of Read Manchester activities to get the city reading and improve literacy levels.
To find out more about Read Manchester visit www.readmanchester.org.uk.