By Jessica Anstice
Children and young people in Cardinia Shire have been exploring faraway lands and going on countless adventures as part of this year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge.
Students from Officer Secondary College, St Francis Xavier College Beaconsfield, Beaconsfield Primary School, St Margaret’s School, Beaconhills College, Berwick Lodge Primary School and Berwick Primary School were congratulated by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing.
“It’s fantastic to see so many avid readers in Cardinia and the Yarra Ranges,” She said.
“I hope their participation in this year’s challenge leads to a lifelong love of reading.”
Signed certificates from Premier Daniel Andrews and former premiers are now being sent out to those who completed the challenge, centred around the theme ‘Reading: Everybody. Everyday.’.
In its 16th year, the Premiers’ Reading Challenge was established to inspire more children to read, helping to build essential literacy skills that support their education.
More than 3 million students have read more than 51 million books since it began.
“Congratulations to all who took part in this year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge, and thanks to the many parents and teachers that supported children in this challenge,” Education Minister James Merlino said.
“Helping children find a love of reading and literacy early is critical to developing skills that will set them up for life.”
To complete the challenge, students in Years 3-10 needed to read at least 15 books in the six months from March to September.
For prep-Year 2 students, 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 12,000 books featured on this year’s list and included novels, picture books, short stories, poems and non-fiction titles.
This year’s theme artwork for the certificates and challenge was designed by Jess McGeachin, whose debut picture book ‘Fly’, published in 2019, was shortlisted for the World Illustration awards.
Looking for Alibrandi author Melina Marchetta was this year’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge author.