Premiers’ Reading Challenge Draws To A Close

Children and young people from across Victoria have devoured thousands of books over the past few months as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos and Minister for Education James Merlino today congratulated more than 266,950 participants from 965 local schools, 1,947 early childhood services and homes across the state.

Together, they have read more than 4.4 million books as part of this year’s Challenge, breaking the record of 4.1 million books which was set last year.

To complete the Challenge, students in years three to ten needed to read 15 books or more in the six months from March to September. For students in prep, year one and year two the Challenge was to read or experience 30 books.

Children who have not yet started school were challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years.

More than 13,000 children from across Victoria took part in the Early Years component, which also encouraged early learning services to get involved by holding an inaugural competition to win 100 new books.

All early years services completing the challenge went into the draw, with Starfish Early Learning Centre in Blackburn South and Marie Williams Kindergarten in Kilmore named the winners. They will each receive 100 books thanks to Penguin Random House Australia, which partnered with the Andrews Labor Government for this initiative.

The Challenge is an important literacy initiative that encourages more children and young people to read more often.

A key Education State target is to increase the number of year five and year nine students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent – and the Challenge will help meet that goal.

Since the Premiers’ Reading Challenge began 14 years ago almost 2.8 million students and children have read more than 45 million books. For more information on the Challenge, visit education.vic.gov.au/prc.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“Reading regularly with children from the day they are born is one of the most powerful things we can do to help build a child’s love of literature and reading.”

“Get a book and get ahead – well done to all the kids, mums, dads, carers and teachers that took part.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“We know how vital reading is to a child’s development and to help students develop their academic, social and emotional skills.”

“Congratulations to the thousands of children and young people who took up this year’s challenge!”