4th April, 2017

Eager young readers in Gippsland are getting ready to rise to the challenge of reading more books.

Harriet Shing, Member for Eastern Victoria Region, is encouraging keen readers to join the Premiers’ Reading Challenge 2017.

Since the program began in 2005, more than 2.2 million students have read nearly 42 million books – enough books to almost reach from Melbourne to Sydney if stacked side by side.

More than 230,000 participants and 3206 schools, early childhood settings and homes across Victoria took up the Challenge last year, reading more than four million books. That is twice as many books as the State Library of Victoria has in its entire collection.

This year marks the 13th Premiers’ Reading Challenge and to complete it students in Years three to 10 need to read 15 books or more in the six months from March to September.

Students in Prep, Year one and Year two are challenged to read or experience 30 books, while children who have not yet started school are challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families.

The Challenge is an important literacy initiative that encourages more children and young people to read more often. It will help meet the ambitious Education State target of increasing the number of Year five and Year nine students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent.

This year award-winning illustrator and author Marc Martín designed the Challenge’s central poster, which hopes to inspire a generation of readers to imagine places all over the world.

For more information, visit:

Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“When you open a book you never know where the story will take you and the Challenge is about taking more young readers on exciting new adventures.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“I wish all students in Gippsland taking part in this year’s Challenge the best of luck in not only meeting their goals – but also discovering a few great stories along the way.”