Over 160 staff and students completed the Reading Ahead Challenge at Walsall College and were awarded certificates for successfully reading and reviewing six books or articles in six months.
Reading Ahead is a national programme run by The Reading Agency every year through schools and colleges. Participants choose six reads to rate and review, with the chance to enter a prize draw when they complete the challenge.
Walsall College took part in the initiative last year, achieving a Silver Award for getting over a hundred staff members and students on board. This year, the College had their sights set on achieving a Gold award and with 165 staff and students completing the challenge, they are on their way to achieve this coveted status.
Staff and students who completed the challenge were recognised at a certificate presentation, which also included a prize draw from the College.
An Amazon Fire Tablet was given away at the end of the presentation, as well as a magazine subscription, an Amazon voucher and five book bundles.
With reading being proven to help reduce stress, Walsall College used the Reading Ahead initiative to promote mental wellbeing amongst its staff and students. The presentation took place at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which was an opportunity for learning staff to highlight the positive impact of reading has on mental health.
Debbie Williams, Learning Facilitator at Walsall College, said: “Reading Ahead has had such a positive impact on our students’ confidence, reading, spelling and grammar abilities, and enjoyment of reading more.
The presentation was our chance to celebrate everyone’s achievements and also launch the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.
One in four adults and one in ten children experience mental illness, and many more of us know and care for people who do.’ Reading can reduce stress, help you sleep better, improve your memory and intelligence, and can be a form of therapy.
“We have received some great feedback from the students showing the impact that taking apart has had on them”.
Walsall College offer part-time and evening courses in Functional Skills and GCSE English. To find out more, please visit our website at www.walsallcollege.ac.uk.
If you would like to speak to a member of staff about courses available, please call 01922 688852 or come along to our Open Day on Wednesday 27th June 2017, from 4pm – 7pm.