Little readers asked to pick up a book as QLD launches Premier’s Reading Challenge

by Freya Lucas

May 09

With the hope of encouraging a life long love of reading, and an appreciation of languages, Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, launched the QLD 2019 Premier’s Reading Challenge, open to children from early childhood onwards.

 

Launching the challenge at her old primary school,Jamboree Heights State School, Ms Palaszczuk encouraged statewide participation in the annual program aimed at inspiring children to read books, engage in shared reading, or listen to a book being read.

 

Ms Palaszczuk outlined her Government’s commitment to “ensuring all Queenslanders have a great start in life through quality education,” with the challenge seeking to prompt children to “put down their devices and read, or listen to a book being read”

 

In an inclusive twist, this year, the challenge features books written in Indonesian, Italian, Chinese, French, German and Japanese, the first time books in these languages are available. Ms Palaszczuk said that students who speak English as an additional language or dialect, along with students who speak or read in an Indigenous language may choose to read books in their first language.

 

The challenge is well supported in Queensland, with over 180,000 children participating in 2018, including 388 early childhood education and care centres joining in, leading to over 2.46 million books being read by children.

 

The challenge, the Premier said, was to “experience” as many books as possible in the coming months. Local Member for Mount Ommaney, Jess Pugh, encouraged local children to get onboard with the challenge, saying that reading is “a wonderful way to spend time together as a family and it sets a solid foundation for a child’s success,”

 

“Ten minutes spent reading by a child is ten minutes well-spent.”

 

The Reading Challenge as a whole runs from 13 May to 23 August 2019 for children of school age. Children in early childhood education and care settings are invited to take part from 12 August to 23 August.

 

The 2019 Premier’s Reading Challenge is supported by QSuper, RACQ, Queensland Ballet, Booktopia and The Courier-Mail.

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