Part of a program to encourage greater literacy among young people, the Challenge was first held in 2005. To complete the Challenge, students in Years 3-10 need to read 15 books or more in the six months from February to September.
Since the Challenge began, more than 2.5 million young Victorians have read more than 45 million books, enough to fill almost 11 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Students in Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 are challenged to read or experience 30 books. Children who have not yet started school are challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families. The Challenge extends up to the Super Challenge booklist for Year 10 students.
Participants write down the books they have read on special checklists, downloaded from the Challenge website or provided by schools.
The Challenge ends on 7 September. In October an Online Honour Roll featuring a congratulatory video will be published on the Challenge website. In November certificates for various reading awards are issued to early childhood services managers, school principals and homes for distribution.
Last year over 250,000 readers took part, from 3,161 schools, early childhood settings and homes across Victoria, reading nearly 4 million books.
More than 150 new books feature on the list this year, including the final instalments of Michael Adams’ The Seven Signs series and new additions to Melbourne author Tony Wilson’s The Selwood Boys. The total book list contains 9,000 books.
Research shows that reading plays a vital role in a child’s development, helping develop their academic, social and emotional skills.
“A great book can take a young reader to new places and times and help grow their love of reading and the world,” said Premier Daniel Andrews at the official launch.
For more information, and to see the complete booklist for all year levels, visit www.education.vic.gov.au/prc.