Message from the Premier

We all know that children's reading skills are important to their success in school and work. What we sometimes forget is that reading is also a fun and imaginative activity for children; an activity which opens doors to all kinds of new worlds and enables them to explore the unknown.

CS Lewis said - Through literature 'I become a thousand people and yet remain myself'. Through reading books we can learn about different things and we can meet interesting people. Turn the pages of a book and you can listen to the voice of someone who lives or even someone who lived in another time and another place.

What makes the Premier's Reading Challenge so successful each year is the commitment and dedication of librarians and teachers who commit to ensuring the Challenge is meaningfully embedded into school programs. No two schools have the same approach when it comes to implementing the Challenge. Whether the Challenge is implemented as part of the take-home reading, implemented as part of a reading for meaning program or used in conjunction with other reading programs the message is clear... the Challenge encourages reluctant and non-readers to read, it promotes discussion about books and increases student's borrowing books from their school and local libraries.

In its first year, the Premier's Reading Challenge saw some 5900 students successfully completed it. Twelve years on, the Challenge is now open to students in Kindergarten to Year 9 and close to 250 000 students participate each year. This inspirational number, and the growth in the number of students who now participate, is the result of the support and dedication of our librarians and teachers and the tireless hours that parents devote to reading with their children. Without your contribution the Challenge would not be the success that it is today.

Barry O'Farrell