Uxbridge College has become the only organisation in the UK to be given a Platinum Award for its performance in the Reading Agency’s national Reading Ahead scheme for 2016-17. Student Shajnah Farook was one of only three students to win an achiever’s runner up prize in the National Prize Draw via the Reading Agency.
The College achieved Platinum status in the annual challenge for having more than 500 participants – a total of 503 – complete the requirement of reading six texts and writing a review of each of them. College library staff fed back on more than 3000 reviews submitted by the participants. Shajnah, 19, an Art & Design student who completed the challenge, won her prize after being entered in the draw. She was presented with a certificate and Kobo e-reader by Shelley Cawley, Information and Learning Resources Manager at the College, who co-ordinates Reading Ahead.
Shelley said: Reading Ahead is a very effective way of motivating students to improve their literacy skills and their reading confidence and we are very grateful to The Reading Agency for making the initiative possible.”
Reading Ahead Programme Manager, Genevieve Clarke said: “We are thrilled that Uxbridge College continues to excel at Reading Ahead. It’s wonderful to see a college encouraging its students and staff to enjoy reading and to reap all the rewards that it can bring for confidence, achievement and quality of life.”
Shajnah said: “I read and wrote reviews of articles from online newspapers. I learned new skills from writing the reviews and enjoyed reading more than I normally do. I was pleased to win the prize but I didn’t do anything more than the other students!”
Other students who completed the challenge were presented with books and awards at an event with fantasy author Marcus Alexander who also signed autographs for them.
Reading Ahead has been run for the last ten years by the national charity, The Reading Agency, through public libraries, colleges, prisons and workplaces. The Agency is supported with funding from Arts Council England and is the leading charity inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment. Working with partners, their aim is to make reading accessible to everyone, and Reading Ahead is one of a number of initiatives it runs to support this aim.