A life-long love of reading and an appreciation of language are at the heart of the 2019 Premier’s Reading Challenge, launched by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today.
The Premier launched 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.
“My Government is committed to ensuring all Queenslanders have a great start in life through quality education,” the Premier said.
“That’s why the Reading Challenge encourages students from Prep through to Year 9 to put down their devices and read, or listen to a book being read, in school or at home.
“For the first time, books in Indonesian, Italian, Chinese, French, German and Japanese will be available for students.
“Students who speak English as an additional language or dialect, along with Indigenous students, may choose to read books in their first language.”
Last year, more than 180,000 Queensland children and students from 1,012 schools and 388 early childhood centres participated in the Reading Challenge and read more than 2.46 million books.
“A young person’s love of reading and the development of writing and language skills should continue into adulthood,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The challenge is to experience as many books as possible over the next few months.”
Member for Mount Ommaney Jess Pugh encouraged local students to get onboard with the challenge.
“Reading is a wonderful way to spend time together as a family and it sets a solid foundation for a child’s success,” Ms Pugh said.
“Ten minutes spent reading by a child is ten minutes well-spent.”
Jamboree Heights State School Principal Cam Wallace said with a student population representing 42 different countries, the program’s focus on diversity was great for the school community.
“At our school, around 14 per cent of students speak English as an additional language or dialect,” Mr Wallace said.
“Last year around 95 per cent of our students took part in the challenge and this year we are aiming for 100 per cent participation.”
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government’s Advancing education: An action plan for education in Queensland set out Queensland’s long-term vision for schooling and early childhood education and care.\
“We will support students to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and qualities for the future,” Ms Grace said.
“We’re encouraging study in science, technology, engineering and maths and we’re expanding the study of cultures and languages.
“We’re also improving teaching and teacher training.
“The Palaszczuk Government has invested $107 million over three years from 2018-19 to develop and implement our Teaching Queensland’s Future program to ensure we meet the statewide demand for quality teachers.
“We’re employing more than 3,700 extra teachers throughout Queensland to meet enrolment growth to help ensure students receive support to help them through their education and to contribute to their most important formative years.”
The Reading Challenge runs from May 13 through to 23 August 2019 for Prep to Year 9 students, with children who are home schooled also welcome to participate. Children in early childhood education can also take part from 12 to 23 August.
The 2019 Premier’s Reading Challenge is supported by QSuper, RACQ, Queensland Ballet, Booktopia and The Courier-Mail.
Schools can register to join the challenge at https://readingchallenge.education.qld.gov.au/ and register for Ready Reading by emailing Ready.Reading@qed.qld.gov.au.
To become a Queensland Ready Reading volunteer, visit https://volunteeringqld.org.au/.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace