Students read all about it in annual Challenge
Nearly 430,000 students participated in the 2022 Premier’s Reading Challenge, with a record number recognised for their efforts. Luke Horton reports.
12 December 2022
Students across the state have embraced the 2022 Premier’s Reading Challenge, with a record number recognised for their ongoing love of the written word.
The Premier’s Medal is awarded to students who have completed the challenge each year throughout their schooling, with 1,149 students recognised this year.
A phenomenal combined 8,738,987 books were read by 428,085 children and teenagers, with 307,985 students completing the challenge.
‘Family Tree’, a story by Josh Pyke and Ronojoy Ghosh, was the most read book.
Lithgow Public School Year 2 student Vianne Phillips completed her first Premier’s Reading Challenge this year.
Vianne’s family owns a bookshop in Lithgow and her father, Paul, said books and reading had been a constant in his daughter’s life.
“We have video of her at two or three months of age, smiling and making faces while her mother read her a story,” he said.
“Even before Vianne could read, she used to pick books off the shelves in the shop and look at the pictures.
“She’d happily spend her day going from shelf to shelf looking through the books.”
Mr Phillips said his daughter loved the ‘Macca the Alpaca’ collection by Matt Cosgrove, as well as chapter stories for young girls and books by Enid Blyton and David Walliams.
“I think the Premier’s Reading Challenge is a great initiative that not only gets kids reading regularly, but ensures they’re exposed to many different authors as well,” he said.
The Premier’s Reading Challenge is open to all NSW students from Kindergarten to Year 10, in government, Independent, Catholic and home schools.
The entry criteria was changed last year to allow Year 10 students to participate and maintain their eligibility for the Premier’s Medal, following disruptions to learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Girraween High School Year 10 student Athul Jithesh was among those to benefit from the change.
“It’s a good opportunity that gives the chance for avid readers to not be disadvantaged by the COVID outbreak last year,” he said.
“It makes it fair, and I believe that it was a good change.”
The Premier’s Reading Challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students and enable them to experience quality literature.
It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely.
· Read more about the Premier’s Reading Challenge in 2023.