STUDENTS from a Southend college were awarded certificates from a best selling author for completing the Six Book Challenge on Monday.
Southend Libraries, Southend Adult Community College (SACC) and Community Partners held a Six Book Challenge Certificate Awards ceremony for learners, students and tutors who have completed the annual reading scheme.
Students received their certificates from best-selling author and National Six Book Challenge Ambassador Adele Parks.
The Six Book Challenge encourages less confident readers to develop a reading habit through choosing, reading and expressing their views about books. It is co-coordinated at a national level by the Charity the Reading Agency.
SACC literacy tutor, Judith Williams said: “We are so lucky to have Adele here with us. Our students have started reading and it changes their lives- so many of them have said how it has boosted their confidence. The challenge is suitable for any reader from advanced to beginners and they can choose what they want to read be it a huge novel or a quick read. One man who couldn’t read until he was a lot older said it gives him such joy to now be able to read stories to his grandchildren. We have had a great response from all involved and we will definitely be doing it again next year.”
SACC maths and English student Samantha Perry, 41, (pictured left with Adele Parks) said: “I’m so glad I’ve done it. I really wasn’t a reader at all but doing the challenge has helped. I will definitely continue with the quick reads- I’m not quite ready for a huge chunk of a novel just yet but I will definitely be back to do it again next year!”
As part of the challenge people are invited to read six books, and are supported by incentives and creative reading activities. Reached through library staff, adult literacy practitioners and others working directly with readers in the local community, the Six Book Challenge has proved a great success, with over 240 people across Southend taking part in 2012.
Simon Wallace Library Community & Diversity Team Manager said “It’s a fantastically simple scheme and it really can turn things around for learners. The Challenge can provide a real confidence boost to people’s reading skills and also be really enjoyable at the same time.”
Adele Parks told the Enquirer: “They all deserve a huge congratulations for completing the challenge. To set yourself six books to read is a big ask and it is a huge achievement and shows real commitment. Reading is so important as it brings knowledge and confidence and as much of a cliché as it is, knowledge is power. I like to think of the challenge as the book version of your five a day fruit and veg! Confidence from reading is empowering and it is great to hear how much people’s confidence has grown by taking part in the challenge.”
Adele took part in a Q&A session with students and also signed copies of her latest book “Whatever It Takes”.
For more information visit: www.sixbookchallenge.org.uk or www.southend-adult.ac.uk.