At Birmingham Adult Education Service, we know how the love of reading can change lives, and we want our students to experience that joy. That's why we introduced the Reading Ahead challenge last year in some of our English classes.

Did you know one in six people struggles to read?

However, research shows that when people are inspired to read for pleasure they benefit from far greater opportunities in everyday life, education and employment. Reading Ahead changes people's perceptions, opening up opportunities and building confidence – everything changes when we read.

This year the project is being opened up to more of our English students. As well as being encouraged to read in their own time, learners taking part in the challenge will have access to a class library of entertaining easy-read books, as well as magazines and article cuttings.

An important part of the pleasure of reading is to reflect and share opinions with others. As well as being able to discuss ideas in class and online, learners are given a reading diary and challenged to read and comment on at least six different texts over the course of the scheme.

Some of the most popular books last year were 'I am Malala', 'I Had a Black Dog' and Richard Branson's 'Screw It, Let's Do It' - but it's not just about books. Many people enjoy reading online, so whether it's books, magazines or websites, Reading Ahead encourages people to try something new and discover that reading can be a pleasure.

"I think is important to read, it's something that helps you to think in many different ways, to see others opinion. I definitely won't stop reading."

Where would your Reading journey take you?

Ever thought what you would do if you had your very own time machine? Well, thanks to the wonders of
reading, you can do exactly that!

Perhaps you would go back and see how people used to live, through  one of Maeve Binchy's popular novels. Or maybe
you would be present at a world-changing event, such as an astronaut's account of the moon landings. Or would you stay right in the present moment and experience a biography about  Beyoncé?

BBC - Skillswise - Reading for pleasure

Learn more about reading for pleasure with these English skills resources, videos and games designed for adults who want to improve their literacy skills, as well as basic skills tutors and teachers.