As we reported earlier in the year, Reading Ahead formed a key part of the Read Manchester campaign which is a partnership between Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust to promote reading for pleasure and boost literacy across the city. We can now tell you that 1961 young people and adults in Manchester completed the challenge – a fabulous result.
The Read Manchester team distributed around 11,000 Reading Ahead reading diaries to a wide range of partners across the city. These included nine children’s centres, private childcare provider Kids Around the Clock, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, the Youth Council, the Prince’s Trust and public libraries. Several of these partners are seen in a short film made by Read Manchester.
Manchester City Council’s own workforce took part with great enthusiasm (see picture above). “I think Reading Ahead is a brilliant idea. It has encouraged me to pick up a book again,” said one employee. “I’d forgotten how much I love reading,” said another.
The Manchester College and Manchester Adult Education Service also took part as in previous years but both achieved higher numbers of completers – 369 and 279 respectively.
Much of Read Manchester’s success with Reading Ahead has been due to identifying reading champions in various locations. Incentivised with shopping vouchers they have recruited participants, given out Quick Reads and kept up the momentum to help people to complete the challenge.
Students at Secondary Pupil Referral Units in Manchester have also taken part, demonstrating the power of reading for pleasure to open up positive conversations and improve relationships. As well as completing the reading diary they have written a fuller book review about their favourite read.
Hopefully this is just the start. Plans are afoot to continue Read Manchester – so watch this space!
11 December 2017