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Uxbridge College only UK organisation to achieve Platinum Award

Uxbridge College has become the only organisation in the UK to be given a Platinum Award for its performance in the Reading Agency’s national Reading Ahead scheme for 2016/17 – and student Shajnah Farook one of only three students to win an achiever’s runner up prize in the National Prize Draw via The Reading Agency.

The College achieved Platinum status in the annual challenge for having more than 500 participants – a total of 503 – complete the requirement of reading six texts and writing a review of each of them. College library staff fed back on more than 3,000 reviews submitted by Reading Ahead participants. Completer Shajnah (19), an Art & Design student, won her prize after being entered in the national prize draw. She was presented with a certificate and Kobo e-reader by Shelley Cawley, Information and Learning Resources Manager at Uxbridge College, who co-ordinates Reading Ahead at the College.

Shelley Cawley said: “Uxbridge College is very excited to be receiving this Platinum Award particularly as we are the only organisation in the country to achieve it. I would like to say a very big congratulations and well done to Shajnah and to the students who took part, and to all those staff members who worked so hard to support them. Reading Ahead is a very effective way of motivating students to improve their literacy skills and their reading confidence, and we are very grateful to The Reading Agency for making the initiative possible.”

Reading Ahead Programme Manager Genevieve Clarke said: “We’re thrilled that Uxbridge College continues to excel at Reading Ahead. It’s wonderful to see a college encouraging its students and staff to enjoy reading and to reap all the rewards that it can bring for confidence, achievement and quality of life.”

Shajnah said: “I read and wrote reviews of articles from online newspapers, I learned new skills from writing the reviews and enjoyed reading more than I usually do. I was pleased to win the prize but I didn’t do anything more than the other students!”

Student completers were also presented with books and awards at an event with fantasy author Marcus Alexander who also signed autographs for them. Reading Ahead Programme Manager Genevieve Clarke also congratulated students at the event.

Reading Ahead has been run for the last ten years by the national charity The Reading Agency through public libraries, colleges, prisons and workplaces. The organisation with the next highest number of completers after Uxbridge College was The Manchester College, which received the Double Gold award with 369 completers.

The Reading Agency is supported with funding from Arts Council England and is the leading charity inspiring people of all ages and all backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment. Working with partners, their aim is to make reading accessible to everyone, and Reading Ahead is one of a number of initiatives it runs to support this aim.

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