College book auction raises over £900 for reading scheme

Warrington & Vale Royal College is celebrating after the success of their sell-out book auction dinner at their award-winning restaurant, Buckley’s. The annual auction raised over £900 which will be used to purchase books for the college’s reading schemes including ‘Accelerated Reader’ and the Reading Agency’s initiative, ‘Reading Ahead’, which the college runs with partner LiveWire Libraries.

The auction, which was led by the college’s Director of English, Elizabeth Draper, and Learning Resource Centre Manager, Bethan Bligh, commenced with a delicious four-course meal prepared and served by the college’s talented hospitality and culinary arts students.

Anna Lucas, author of Sir Undercracker, spoke at the auction and donated multiple copies of her children’s best-seller, along with a visit to two local primary schools of the highest bidders choosing. The college’s Personal Development, Behavioural & Welfare Manager, Stephanie Crane, and Work Placement Co-ordinator, Abbie Hildebrandt, bid together to win a visit from Anna Lucas to Darnhall Primary School in Winsford, where Stephanie Crane sits as a governor.

This academic year over 3 million words were read from the college’s fiction collection and over 3000 fiction books were loaned from the college’s libraries at its Warrington and Winsford campuses. This increased reading has resulted in a demonstrable improvement in grammar, vocabulary and spelling, and the ability to process written texts. It has fostered an enjoyment of reading, and students are now in the habit of reading for pleasure. This year the college identified seventeen students as having made significant academic progress through reading, awarded Reader of the Year to Art & Design student Jack Dickenson, and Reading Group of the Year to ICT Diploma Level 2, for their excellent reading progress.

Elizabeth Draper commented: “It was a splendid occasion with a delicious menu and fun auction. The monies raised will have such a positive impact on our reading at college. It is only through local support and generosity, particularly from our wonderful sponsor and friend Gary Skentelbery from Warrington Worldwide, that we are able to continue this fantastic reading journey.”