Students urged to get reading again for 2021 Premier’s Challenge


Queensland school students are being encouraged to get reading as part of the 16th annual Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister and McConnel MP Grace Grace visited Brisbane Central State School today to officially launch the challenge, reading to year 1 students.

The Premier said the challenge put literacy front and centre for children in early childhood centres to students right through to Year 9.

“When I was at school, I loved reading and I still do. There’s nothing better than getting lost in a good book,” the Premier said.

“A love of reading starts at a young age and is something our students will need for the rest of their lives.

“This Challenge is a great way for our young people to build their confidence and improve their skills through books.”

The Premier said during last year’s Challenge, 2.23 million books were read by more than 161,000 children across more than 1200 schools and early childhood centres.

“It’d be great to see as many students, if not more involved this year, particularly after a challenging year with COVID last year.

“Good luck to all those taking part and remember, it’s not a competition, just enjoy the challenge of setting goals and reading great books.”

Brisbane Central State School principal Michael Grogan said he was confident in seeing an increase in student participation.

“Our students are voracious readers and learners, and we’re always at or near 100% participation in the Challenge,” Mr Grogan said.

“Anything that gets children reading more, and parents involved in reading with their children, has to be a great initiative.

“In my first year here in 2017, we had around 300 students and worked out that all the books they read would add up to a tower roughly one kilometre high!”

The Premier and Minister Grace also inspected construction of a new $16.9 million classroom building while at the school.

“Tradies are working hard on the new three-storey building which is expected to be finished in October this year,” Ms Grace said.

“It’ll be a state-of-the-art learning centre once it’s finished, featuring 12 classrooms, a library, admin area, canteen, uniform shop and outdoor learning spaces.

“Construction is supporting 50 local jobs which is a fantastic boost for our economy.

“This new building will totally transform Brisbane Central which is a popular, growing inner-city school.”

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