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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Mackay students embrace reading challenge

    Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Mackay students embrace reading challenge

    Students in Mackay are joining more than 980 schools and early childhood centres across the state which have registered to take part in the 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge.

    Education Minister Grace Grace today visited Mackay Central State School to promote the initiative and to read a book with a class of enthusiastic Year 2 students.

    “The Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of supporting students to become lifelong learners,” Ms Grace said.

    “Developing a passion for reading gives children a great start to their education, and builds a strong foundation for their future careers and endeavours.

    “It’s great to see students here in Mackay embracing this challenge and discovering the joys of reading form a young age.

    “I know that Mackay Central State School strongly supports this initiative and is aiming for a 100 per cent participation rate this year.”

    Ms Grace said, for the first time, this year’s suggested book titles for the Premier’s Reading Challenge would be available in Chinese, French, German and Japanese, in addition to English.

    “Students who speak English as an additional language or dialect, along with Indigenous students, may choose to read books in their first language,” she said.

    “Learners with special needs or those who do not speak or read Standard Australian English at home can engage with books that support their needs, such as those in large print, braille or audio.”

    Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said this was great for school communities like Mackay Central State School, where the student population represents 12 different countries.

    “At this local school, nearly 40 per cent of students speak English as an additional language or dialect, including students who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who do not speak English as their first language,” Mrs Gilbert said.

    “So far, 814 schools are already registered in the challenge which runs from 14 May to 24 August 2018. Students who are home schooled are also welcome to take part.

    “Even children in early childhood education can take part from 13 to 24 August, with 173 early education and care centres registered to date.

    “I encourage all students in the Mackay region to embrace this challenge and get reading!”

    During the Premier’s Reading Challenge, students aim to read a minimum number of books with no limit on the maximum number.

    Mackay Central State School Principal Sarah Mutton said students were excited to take part in the challenge.

    “Last year around 60 per cent of our students were part of the challenge and this year we are aiming for 100 per cent participation,” Mrs Mutton said.

    “We actively encourage reading every day and our school community values the benefits and enjoyment that can be achieved through being avid, voracious and skilled readers.”

    Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government also recently relaunched the Ready Reading program.

    “We will be training up to 3000 volunteers to share their knowledge and time in our primary schools to help support reading,” she said.

    “I encourage avid readers to register their interest with Volunteering Queensland to this great initiative.”

    The 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge is supported by QSuper, RACQ, Queensland Ballet, Booktopia and The Courier-Mail.

    More information on the 2018 Premier’s Reading Challenge is available at

    Register to become a Queensland Ready Reading Volunteer on the Volunteering Queensland website:


    Media contact: Emma Clarey 0439 578 472