Since launching in March this year more than 250,000 students and almost 900 schools have registered for the 2019 Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge. In addition, almost 15,000 young children at nearly 300 early childhood services have registered and are reading with the help of their parents and carers.
Challenge participants have already read a combined total of more than 670,000 books – and the children of Victoria have nominated Wonder by R.J. Palacio as their favourite book so far, with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone a close second.
This year, schools are being supported to help students from all backgrounds to participate in the Challenge, such as encouraging the use of audio books for visually impaired students and supporting students to read books in the language they speak at home.
At Mooroolbark College, teachers are taking part in the Premiers’ Reading Challenge to lead by example and encourage their students to participate and read more books.
Orchard Grove Primary School in Blackburn South is hosting Night Library events during the Premiers’ Reading Challenge to encourage parents and students to borrow more books. The school is also providing prizes for children who are reading and is running a competition for the class that reads the most books.
“A love of reading is crucial to a child’s educational development. Not only does it support literacy, but it also inspires curiosity, imagination and creativity,” said Minister for Education James Merlino “This is a great success story. I’d like to thank teachers and parents for getting behind the Premiers’ Reading Challenge. Your work and enthusiasm has seen more than 250,000 students from almost 900 schools get involved.”
This year, the Challenge is running its first ever reader’s review competition. Secondary students in years 7 to 10 can write a book review of one of a selection of Premiers’ Reading Challenge books for a chance to win free books and a visit to Penguin publishing house in Melbourne. The competition closes on Saturday 6 July 2019.
A key Education State target is increasing the number of Year 5 and Year 9 students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent. The Challenge is an important literacy initiative to work towards this target.
Since the Challenge began in 2005, more than 2.8 million students in Victoria have read nearly 49 million books. For more information, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: courtesy of the Department of Education and Training Victoria