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Dymocks Children’s Charities launches new reading initiative

November 5, 2010
 
To say the Premier’s Reading Challenge, launched by me in 2001, has been a roaring success is an understatement.  Over 200,000 students signed up to the Challenge in 2009 and read over four million books. Yes, four million! The impressive results have prompted other states to follow this lead and set up challenges of their own.
 
The sponsor is Dymocks, the leading book retailer, the board of which I was honoured to join in 2006.
 
For all the Reading Challenge’s success, I remind myself that there are still thousands of kids for whom reading never really becomes part of their mental equipment, it never becomes a pleasure.

Dymocks Children’s Charities has taken this sentiment to heart and launched a new initiative, The Book Bank Project aims to encourage more kids to read more books every day for the sheer joy of it.  There’s no competition. They won’t be tested. Its for the love of reading for its own sake.

Children at participating schools get to choose one book per semester.  The book belongs to the child but they will be encouraged to swap and share their books via a Class Book Bank.

 Jesmond Zammit, the Assistant Principal at Ettalong Public School said, “I am truly amazed at what I have seen since the books arrived. Everyone is hooked on books! The kids are taking them into the playground, trying to sneak them into assemblies and even taking them to timeout. I have been a teacher for over 20 years… If only I had the insight to know what a significant impact book selection and ownership would have on motivating students to read, I would have tapped into it long ago.”

 The Project began in Term 3 and will run as a pilot study for two-years and engage over 1,000 primary students from five priority schools. 

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