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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh
    Minister for Education and Training
    The Honourable Geoff Wilson

    Premier Bligh and the Sunday Mail join forces to offer affordable children’s books

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Minister for Education and Training
    The Honourable Geoff Wilson

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Premier Bligh and the Sunday Mail join forces to offer affordable children’s books

    The Queensland Government, the Sunday Mail and Queensland bookstores have joined forces to offer a 10% discount off all children’s books state-wide in March.

    The program is part of the Bligh Government’s ‘Flying Start for Queensland Children’ push to reform Queensland education and increase early childhood literacy and numeracy.

    Premier Anna Bligh said recent national Australian Early Development Index survey on child preparedness for school revealed that Queensland children at 61 per cent are well below the national average at 77 per cent.

    "Education is about a partnership between Government, teachers, parents and the community.

    "We all have a role to play in the education of our Queensland children.

    "Every child deserves an education and the Queensland Government will do whatever is necessary to ensure they get it.

    "The Queensland Government is proud to be partnering with the Sunday Mail and participating Queensland Bookstores to get more books in the hands of parents."

    Ms Bligh said the Sunday Mail discount book promotion followed a wide range of early childhood reading initiatives.

    "We have started a campaign to boost the literacy skills of Queensland students, and this week have begun recruiting an army of 3000 volunteers to read with children in our schools," she said.

    "National and international research shows that well-trained and supported community volunteers can make a big difference to children’s learning.

    "Reading fuels young imaginations and it can help a child’s listening and language skills, promotes attention and curiosity, and can put them on the right track for a great start to their education.

    "The extra one-on-one time can be invaluable to all children, but can bring particular benefits to children struggling with their early reading skills."

    Ms Bligh added that the book voucher deal will build on the ‘Books for Bubs’ program also launched this month.

    "Books for Bubs will give new born children a ‘flying start’ to their education with a free children’s book being given to every new parent from 1 July this year.

    "This book is designed to be a start to a child’s reading program but I hope that parents will visit libraries and bookshops to give their children access to more books.

    "My Government pledged to ensure our kids are on the right track from the day one and these program will reinforce to parents the importance of reading to their children."

    Education Minister Geoff Wilson said the Government was also delivering on its $321 million election commitment to deliver 240 new kindergarten services throughout the state.

    "Along with participating long day centres, we are ensuring every Queensland child has a kindergarten place by 2014.

    "Our children are already performing better in 17 of the 20 national testing areas and our $10million a day in education infrastructure spending is placing state-of-the-art facilities and technology at their fingertips.

    "It is also important that parents, teachers and community members got involved in the Government’s discussion paper into the education reforms.

    "These reforms are necessary for the future of our education system and I implore everyone to take an active role in the consultation process."

    The public consultation is aimed at better preparing our children for primary and secondary schools and ensuring the quality of teaching across all schools. To have your say, visit www.qld.gov.au.

    The Green Paper reflects the Queensland Government’s Toward Q2 Smart goals for 2020 – that all children would have access to a quality early childhood education and three out of four Queenslanders would hold trade, training or tertiary qualifications.

    Contact 07 32244500