It’s great to see The Red Piano on the list of new books recommended for Year 6 to Year 9 readers in this year’s South Australian Premier’s Reading Challenge. It’s also one of the new books on the New South Wales Premier’s Reading Challenge Grade 5 to 6 booklist for 2010.
Reading challenges are a great way of getting school-age kids to read a wide variety of quality books, and kudos to Australia’s various state governments for getting behind them. Here’s a wrap of the existing challenges:
- The South Australian Premier’s Reading Challenge started on 27 January and runs until 3 September. Over that time, kids at participating schools in South Australia are encouraged to read at least 12 books, at least 8 of which should be from the recommended reading list. As mentioned, The Red Piano‘s on the list.
- The Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, which started on 25 January and ends on 31 August, has a similar structure to the South Australian challenge, although Victorian kids are expected to read 15 books (or 30 if you’re at Grade 2 or below!), of which 10 must be from the recommended reading list (0r 20 if you’re in Grade 2 or below. Grade 10 readers are allowed more freedom – only 5 of their books have to come from the list. Our title Waiting for Mummy is on the reading list for Grades 3 and 4.
- The New South Wales Premier’s Reading Challenge started on 1 February and will run to 25 August. A record-breaking 180,142 students in over 2,000 schools met the Challenge in 2009. NSW kids are expected to read 30 books if at Grade 2 or below and 20 if in Grade 3 or above. They can read a maximum of 5 books that are personal choices – the rest must come from the recommended booklists. The Red Piano‘s on the NSW lists.
- The Western Australian Premier’s Summer Reading Challenge finishes on 8 February. This challenges parents and kids to read for between 10 and 15 hours over the summer holiday period and has been running for seven years.
- The Queensland Premier’s Reading Challenge will be launched in early April 2010.
- The Tasmanian Premier’s Reading Challenge ran for 10 weeks from June to August in 2009, and involved kids reading at least 10 books each and submitting book reviews. Details yet to appear for 2010.
- In Canberra, the ACT Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge required kids to read 12 books in 2009. Details yet to appear for 2010.
There are also two projects that encourage readers to read for charity:
- The MS Readathon is run to support research into multiple sclerosis and celebrated its 30th year in 2009. Its 2010 ‘Big Winter Read’ will be launched in April 2010.
- The fabulous Indigenous Literacy Project, a partnership between the Australian book industry and the Fred Hollows Foundation, challenges kids to read a book from its indigenous booklist on Indigenous Literacy Day (1 September 2010) – just one of a number of activities aimed at supporting improved literacy in Australia’s indigenous communities.
That’s a whole lot of reading going on! Have I missed any?