'Reading is my favourite thing that I like to do.'
At four years old, Mylah is a dedicated reader. Between March and September this year, she read 40 books as part of the 2017 Premiers' Reading Challenge for the Early Years. 'Reading is my favourite thing that I like to do,' she says.
While The Little Mermaid is by far her favourite book, the Challenge has inspired Mylah to add many more to her 'best books' list.
She was one of 260,000 children from across 3,161 Victorian schools and early childhood services who took part in the Challenge. Collectively they read a staggering four million books.
Mylah’s mum, Rachael Klinger, was with her with every turn of the page.
Mrs Klinger, who is also a director of a children’s centre, says the Challenge has had a positive effect on every early learner at the centre. 'We’ve had a lot of feedback from parents about how their children are so much more engaged in reading now,' she says.
Rising to the Challenge
The Premiers' Reading Challenge is an important literacy initiative that encourages more children and young people to read more often.
Research shows that regular reading with young children from birth has a direct impact on their performance at school and cognitive skills later in life.
To complete the Challenge, students in Years 3 to 10 had to read 15 books or more in the six months from March to September. For students in prep, Year one and Year two, the Challenge was to read or experience 30 books.
Children who have not yet started school were challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families. The theme of this year’s Premiers' Reading Challenge for the Early Years was 'Share a Book Today'.
Firing the imagination
Mylah’s kindergarten teacher, Reshma Patil, says the kindergarten encourages reading by allowing children to swap books at a kinder book exchange and by inviting parents to come and read to their children’s class.
Mrs Patil says books expand children’s vocabulary and fires their imaginations.
'We try to develop that love for reading in children and not make it a chore for them,' she says.
For more information, visit: Victorian Premiers' Reading Challenge