Reading Ahead

Partnering with The Reading Agency, Give a Book gives mini-dictionaries to prisoners who complete The Reading Agency’s Reading Ahead (formerly 6 Book Challenge) for adults taking up literacy.

  • Nearly half (46%) of people who have entered prison since August 2014 have low literacy skills, compared to 15% of the general population.
  • Reading Ahead aims to get prisoners reading – both for enjoyment and as a gateway to further library and education activity.
  • Reading Ahead runs in over 100 prisons across the UK and the incentive of getting a dictionary significantly increased participation in the scheme.
  • The gift of a mini-dictionary from Give a Book is the biggest incentive for prisoners to take up the Reading Ahead challenge of literacy.
  • Since starting our partnership with Reading Ahead in 2013, Give a Book have supplied over 9000 dictionaries to participants in UK prisons. 

“Was in Glen Parva YOI just now. Your dictionaries were unanimously voted as the best incentive for taking up the Challenge. Better than chocolate, pens, or good behaviour reports! “ Project Manager RA

my pocket best friend” from a letter from a prisoner

“One of the main attractions for me to start the Six Book Challenge was to obtain the dictionary.  I had not read a book for many years prior to coming to prison, but needed a dictionary to help me understand some my legal documents. By doing the Six Book Challenge I have rediscovered the joy of reading so thank-you for this gift.” Prisoner

 “Dictionaries still pull people into Reading Ahead. I was over at HMP Springhill and nearly everyone I asked who signed up to Reading Ahead said it was to get the dictionary.” Project manager RA.