Islington Council wins top book award

Cllr Janet Burgess

Cllr Janet Burgess - Credit: Archant

Islington bookworms have read their way through hundreds of novels as part of an annual challenge – handing the borough’s council a top award in the process.

More than 100 residents and almost 250 prisoners at HMP Pentonville managed to complete the Six Book Challenge this year – almost double the number from last year.

The challenge, organised and run by Islington Council, is put on every year with the intention of getting more adults reading and to improve their literacy.

Islington adult learner Fatima Seraj said: “The Six Book Challenge helped me a lot to improve my English and makes me want to read more, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Between January and June participants have to make their way through six different books.

This year a record total of 107 adult residents completed the challenge compared to 54 in 2004 and prisoners also got in on the act with 240 of them finishing the competition.

The huge number meant Islington Council was handed a silver medal by The Reading Agency charity in recognition of the leap in participants.

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Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council member for health and wellbeing, said: “One in six adults struggles to read. The Six Book Challenge builds people’s reading confidence and literacy skills, improving their life chances.

“This year, more Islington adult learners than ever are getting the reading habit and that’s great for their job prospects and for their families. Congratulations to all those who took part.

“Whether you are reading for personal development or sheer pleasure or taking out a film or music DVD, there’s a warm welcome for you at Islington’s 10 libraries.”

Residents were able to take part in the competition through the council’s library service, learning centres and at City and Islington College in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park.

The challenge was part of the council’s Islington Reads project to get more people reading through nurseries, schools and libraries across the borough. or call Adult Community Learning on 020 7527 5782.