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Ambassador visits 2017


 2017 was the thirteenth year of the Reading Challenge

  • 34,000 students (across 91 schools) registered for the Challenge this year – an increase of over 3,000 students from 2016.

  • On 22 November, 49 schools (with the highest percentage of students completing the Challenge) were invited to attend the Awards Ceremony, to celebrate their achievement.

  • 26 schools finished with 100% completion rate across the school –including 2 early childhood schools, 1 Community Languages School, and 23 primary schools.


JUNE 5 2017  Author Tracey Hawkins visits Charnwood-Dunlop School

as part of Chief Minister's Reading Challenge

Credit: Photo and article by Andrew Brown


As part of the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge, students across the ACT get to read books from a range of different authors.

For students at Charnwood-Dunlop School on Monday, they also got to meet one of them.

The kindergarten students were visited by children’s author Tracey Hawkins, who read from her book Max Meets a Monster and also took questions.

Mrs Hawkins is one of the ambassadors of this year’s reading challenge and said the challenge is also a way for young readers to read works from a range of Australian authors.

“There’s a lot of talented Australian writers, and they can get lost in the output of books from different countries,” she said.

“But writers in our own pocket are very talented, especially in the ACT.”

This is the third year that the school has participated in the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge, with the entire school recording a 100 per cent completion rate both times.

As part of the challenge, students are required to read a total of 15 books between the beginning of the school year and September.

While the deadline for the challenge is still three months, teacher and librarian Bridgette Manley said the school is well on track to reach 100 per cent completion this year.

“Lots of our kids are quite keen [on reading], and most have finished already,” she said.

“They’re enjoying reading and sharing our book and realising the amount that they have read.”

Ms Manley said the Monday’s visit by Mrs Hawkins was a way to put a face to the name of one of their favourite books.

“It’s a special opportunity for the school to have the author visit and it’s great for the kids to engage with them and ask them questions about the writing process,” she said.

“It’s also nice to have someone answer all of these questions they have about a book from the perspective of the author.”

Mrs Hawkins said while she also writes novels for young-adults, writing picture books for children has its unique set of challenges.

“Picture books are terribly hard and take a lot of work because of the word limit, and every word counts,” she said.

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