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NPTC Group of Colleges Libraries Reading Challenge 2021

@NPTCGroup of Colleges Libraries held a celebratory event online to congratulate completers of their 2021 Reading Challenge. The challenge required participants to complete six reads within six months.  The highlight of the online event included an inspiring talk by Ursula Martin, a writer and long-distance walker who has recently returned from a massive 5,500 mile walk across 14 countries.

There were 45 students who complete the challenge and one lucky prize draw winner. The students who participated were supported by the college librarians who ‘visited’ the groups virtually via Teams.  They delivered fun activity sessions with the students which helped them achieve their reads. This was done by creating an online group in which all participants were members and where information was posted about the Challenge.  There was also reading suggestions, fun reading-related quizzes and conversation starters to inspire members of the group such as “What character would you want to be from a book?” and “Who’s your favourite literary villain?”.

The online finale event included individuals and groups of learners across the NPTC Group of Colleges.  Ursula was invited to share the amazing story of her solo walk across Europe which saw her encounter bears, wolves and wild boars.  She also enjoyed different landscapes and felt the warmth of humanity in the welcome she received in many countries. The audience was gripped by hearing of her experiences and there were lots of questions that followed including why she got involved, what she will do next and if she’d ever do it again.  Her story was motivating and one that demonstrates that just by taking small steps you can begin to work toward big goals.  She was brave enough to explore the ‘what if’ and strong enough not to let go despite a national pandemic, bracing temperatures and bears to contend with.

Ursula has already written one book based on a previous walk across Wales One Woman Walks Wales. and is now set to write another on her latest achievement

The finale of the online event concluded with a prize draw which was done via the whirl of a virtual spinning wheel.  The wheel included the names of all the participants who completed the Reading Challenge.  The wheel stopped to reveal student Ceri Jones from the Neath Horticulture group was the winner to receive a voucher.

Jacinta Jolly, College Librarian at Newtown College, said ‘It was fantastic that so many students engaged in the Reading Challenge and took part in the ongoing activities.  We were so pleased to have Ursula come to our final online event and share her inspiring story with the group.  We wish her and indeed our students’ success in whatever adventure they may get involved in next’.

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