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TikTok inspired challenge secures college grant from worldwide bookseller

A TikTok inspired challenge has secured Coventry College a library grant from a worldwide bookseller. 

Coventry College’s Learning Hub has won a £1,000 Local Literacy Grant from Better World Books, a worldwide online bookseller, to further develop their Fiction Addiction and Read to Succeed book borrowing challenges.

Since September, over 500 students have got involved with the two challenges which encourage learners to borrow and read as many books as they can.

Better World Books were impressed by the Hub’s diverse variety of texts and learning resources that complimented the popular reading challenges and their benefits for learners.

The Hub’s Fiction Addiction scheme was introduced this year and challenges learners to read six different fiction books over the year. A total of 50 readers have signed up to complete the challenge so far, of which each can win a £5 Amazon voucher.

Through Fiction Addiction, readers are also encouraged to review and recommend books for other learners to be included on the Hub’s display stands including the popular “Booktok made me read it” display which features fiction popular on the social media site TikTok.

Since Fiction Addiction’s launch this September, the Hub’s level of fiction loans has more than doubled, with requests for Alice Osman’s Heartstopper graphic novel series topping the lending list.

The Hub’s second initiative Read to Succeed focuses on supporting the reading of ESOL (English as a second language) students through their selection of easy reading books.

Easy reading books help learners improve their English language skills, with support from their course tutors and a review diary to help track their progress and improve their written English.

This year has followed a continued increase on the three previous years with over 400 students signing up to the scheme.

Many ESOL students are interested in understanding the culture connected to their language learning and the most popular book loans include local and national history books related to Coventry, the West Midlands, London, and England.

The Read to Succeed scheme has been coordinated by Senior Learning Resource Adviser Claire Lyness since 2015, and it was her own summer scrolling on social media that helped inspire the new Fiction Addiction scheme and “Booktok made me read it” display.

Claire said “We are delighted to be awarded the grant by Better World Books through the success of our reading schemes.

“The funds will go towards updating our books and learning resources, so they best reflect the needs of our College and local community.

“Our plans include purchasing more contemporary fiction popular through social media and local history texts related to Coventry and the West Midlands supporting the differing abilities of our ESOL learners as well as revamping our private study spaces.

“Our partnership with Better World Books also means books taken off the shelves will be reused and recycled back into the community, reducing our environmental waste.”

Alongside their book selection, Coventry College’s Learning Hub offers digital and IT support services, with learning resources, private study rooms and computers for staff and students.

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