“I have completed the Six Book Challenge. It has been very enjoyable. The Challenge has drove me to complete a range of books, after my completion. I have fallen in love with reading. I don’t think I will ever break up with her.” from a man’s prison.
The Reading Agency is launching a major drive towards reading in prisons through their wonderful Six Book Challenge. Working with the Prison Radio Association and supported by NOMS (National Offender Management Service) the aim is to get all prisons in England and Wales running the Six Book Challenge over the Christmas holiday period. As always, the main focus will be on non-readers and those with low literacy but more competent readers –including prison staff–will also be encouraged to take part.
The campaign will launch on 18 November with features and adverts on National Prison Radio devoted to the Challenge and inviting offenders to register for the scheme through the prison library. Six weeks of radio programming will include: interviews with Six Book Challenge ambassadors Martina Cole and Andy McNab, interviews with Challenge participants and organisers in six prisons around the country, special book club features focusing on Quick Reads and other titles for less confident readers, repeats of the broadcasts between Christmas and New Year and Six Book Challenge roll of honour for completes.
The Reading Agency will also encourage prisons to run local competitions for the best Six Book Challenge reading diaries which they hope to feature on the Reading Agency website. These will be judged locally (by governors, librarians, and tutors or combinations of such) on three different criteria: reader who has progressed the most, most individual voice, and most creative response to the books read.
The aim is to embed the use of the Six Book Challenge and reading for pleasure over the Christmas break as a kickstart to further activity linked to libraries and education in 2015 and beyond; and to achieve recognition for the Six Book Challenge as part of a learning culture for offenders and staff within prisons and a complement to other activities such as the Shannon Trust Reading Plan, Storybook Dad and Prison Reading Groups.