Reading rewarded in Knowsley

Published on: Wednesday, 09-September-2015

Adult readers in Knowsley have celebrated completing a challenge to improve their reading at a special event at Knowsley Safari.

The annual Six Book Challenge, run in Knowsley by the Library Service and Family And Community Education (FACE), challenges adults to pick six reads, record their reading in a diary and to share their experience on the internet. 

Participants can choose to read poems, magazines, newspapers, e-books and websites as well as traditional books. Those who complete the challenge earn a certificate and go into prize draws. The local prize of a tablet was kindly donated by FirstArk.

The challenge is a national initiative from the Reading Agency, aimed at less confident readers and people who are out of the habit of reading for pleasure.

Many of the Knowsley residents involved in the challenge this year had simply lost touch with the joy of reading, were too busy or had lost confidence and did not know where to start.

Two of the learners spoke at the event, including a single dad of three small children and man in his 70’s, who is attending one of FACE’s reading support groups.  They both commented how it was out of their comfort zone to stand up in public and talk about their experiences of reading, but that they felt a huge sense of achievement and pride that they had successfully completed the challenge.

Kirk Sandringham, a single dad who completed the challenge, said:

“Like many parents I thought I was too busy to read significantly anymore. Taking part in the challenge helped me to realise this isn't true. My children took such an interest in dad reading that they organised a challenge of their own! It has helped us change our routine slightly and brought us closer through reading and library trips.”

Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Community and Culture said:

“I am delighted that so many residents were able to complete the challenge this year. It can be incredibly difficult to read one book, let alone six, with modern life being so busy. Reading for pleasure is one of the simple things anyone can do and it can help to reduce stress and can improve your mental wellbeing.”

The celebration event at Knowsley Safari, which was sponsored by Village Housing and Healthy Homes in Knowsley, was an opportunity for residents who had completed the challenge to celebrate their achievement and to be presented with their certificates by Councillor Eddie Connor. The event included a barbecue and tour around the Safari Park.

The 2016 challenge, renamed ‘Reading Ahead’ will be launched in Knowsley in October.