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Minister backs Six Book Challenge expansion

Politicians have backed the Reading Agency's Six Book Challenge in an attempt to improve adult literacy in the UK.

Minister for Skills Matthew Hancock MP yesterday (28th November) joined writers Andy McNab and Adele Parks to lend his weight to the scheme to see the strategy double in size in the next five years.

This year, 23,500 adults took part in the Six Books Challenge, a 30% increase on 2011. The Reading Agency, a charity which supports literacy, are hoping to get 50,000 a year taking part by 2017.

Hancock said: "I welcome the Reading Agency's campaign which is not only helping people to learn to read, it¹s also giving them a desire to read. By improving the literacy and numeracy skills of the nation, we can transform people¹s prospects, create a more highly skilled workforce, and boost economic growth."

Started in 2008, the challenge sees organisations such as workplaces and libraries recruit and support people to read six books, keeping a diary of their achievements.

Its aim to help some of 5.1m (15%) adults in the UK with literacy skills below the expected reading age of an 11-year-old.

The scheme is backed by the Trade Unions Congress, Quick Reads, and for the first time this year, the Rugby League World Cup 2013 and mobile network operator Three.