Andover College students taking part in a national reading campaign, the Six Book Challenge, were given a chocolatey incentive this week courtesy of Waitrose Andover. With the completion date of 20 May 2015 dawning, the complimentary bar of chocolate was an interim treat intended to get everyone over the finish line.

Rebecca Stewart, a former Andover College A Level student and now Partner Coordination Manager for Waitrose, presented the gift, commenting: “Reading is hugely valuable – not only does it help improve communication skills but as we find at Waitrose it can also help people in interview situations. I coordinate all the recruitment and training for the store in Andover and often find candidates who read have something to talk about in their interview. As an employer it’s great to see that ‘spark’ in someone who has an interest such as reading.”

The Six Book Challenge is certainly working with the students with one, Amy Lloyd, commenting that she found she had been motivated to read more and the challenge had encouraged her to get back into reading.

Moira Johnson, Assistant Learning Resources Manager, who led this year’s Six Book Challenge at Andover College, concludes: “Not only is reading a wonderful leisure activity but as Rebecca commented it can really help someone’s employability. This challenge has encouraged students to pick up a book, a magazine, a newspaper or read something on a website. The more any of us read, and review what we have read, the more confident we become and our communication skills improve.”

The Six Book Challenge is run by the charity Reading Agency, whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers; one in six adults struggles to read. The Six Book Challenge builds people’s reading confidence and literacy skills, improving their life chances.