NSW Premier's Reading Challenge opens

The annual bookfest that encourages a love of reading kicks off today.

01 March 2021
Two children sitting in a playground reading picture books.
Image: Page turner: Students can now log their reading as part of the Premier's Reading Challenge.

Students from Kindergarten to Year 9 are being encouraged to jump into reading with the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge opening today for 2021.

The challenge encourages students across NSW to read between 20 and 30 books for leisure and pleasure, depending on their challenge level, from a reading list of quality literature.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said last year almost nine million books were read during the challenge, a 5 per cent increase on previous years.

“It's important for children to discover what books have to offer because we know a passion for learning will set them up for the future," Ms Berejiklian said.

“Whether it’s picking up a book to boost your knowledge, relax at the end of a hard day, or look for inspiration from great figures, reading offers so much for anyone at nearly any age.

"I would love to see as many children as possible develop an interest in reading like I did when I was at school.”

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said last year an additional 38,000 books were read and 165 more schools joined the challenge.

“It’s not too late for schools and students to join the Premier’s Reading Challenge. All you need to do is register, pick up a book and start reading,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The ability to read well is one of education’s greatest gifts, and everyone involved should be proud that the challenge continues to grow and encourages all students to explore the many benefits that result from a love of reading.”

There is a particular focus in 2021 on ensuring representation on the reading list of literature by Indigenous authors and illustrators, with Bundjalung woman, author and illustrator Dr Bronwyn Bancroft providing this year’s promotional artwork.

More information about the Premier’s Reading Challenge and reading lists can be found on the challenge website.

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