Students and staff at Bury College have been celebrating World Book Day this year with a ‘Blind Date with a Book’. Students have been visiting one of the libraries on campus to get matched with a mystery book. Students get the opportunity to read outside their comfort zone, and maybe even find a new favourite book.

Bury College libraries have also been running book-related activities throughout February, including the Six Book Challenge. This is an event open to all students in which involves them reading six books in their own time, and writing reviews of the six they have chosen.

Students from the Foundation Studies department have been supported by their tutors to participate, including ESOL and Lifewise groups. The Foundation Studies department gives students with either profound learning difficulties or English as a second language the support to progress in their studies. All the students who completed the challenge have been entered into the Six Book Challenge prize draw, which gives them a chance to win a £20 Amazon voucher, and have been awarded a certificate. Malaika Sultan, 18, a Step Up to Prospects student, said, “The challenge has given me more confidence with my reading skills.”

Lifewise students Abby Hayhurst, 20, Mohammed Murdi Sharif, 16, and Kieran Lamb, 21, completed their challenge within the allocated time at college, but also took their books with them to continue at home. Abby said, “I really enjoyed reading my books.”

Ada Piotrowska, 22, and Ryan Guzman, 18, both enrolled on the Workwise course, also enjoyed the challenge. Ada’s favourite book she read was a Shrek book, and Ryan particularly enjoyed reading Horrible Histories.

Richard Wyatt, Resource Librarian at the college, said, “It has been great seeing the students and staff engaging in reading for pleasure. It has been long established that all forms of reading can benefit academic performance so it has been heart-warming to see the recent increase in book usage through engagements with LRC activities.”