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Aspiring young authors at two Queensland schools have been taught how to “flex their writing muscles” by acclaimed children’s author Sue Whiting after winning the top prizes in the QSuper Top 5 Book Challenge.
The challenge is part of the annual Premiers’ Reading Challenge and this year more than 600 Queensland students nominated their favourite books for the chance to win big for their school.
Inspired by the hundreds of passionate submissions that demonstrated a love of reading and writing across the state, the team at Australian Retirement Trust, has continued the support of the QSuper Top 5 Book Challenge.
Australian Retirement Trust is the superannuation fund formed through the merger of QSuper and Sunsuper to create one of Australia’s largest super funds and proud to take care of over $200 billion in retirement savings for more than two million members.
Emerging as the winners of the competition this year were Emily from Sandgate State School in Brisbane and Riley from Talara Primary College, at Currimundi on the Sunshine Coast, who both scored writing workshops for their schools, conducted by Ms Whiting.
In the workshops, which were held in late October, Ms Whiting took classes through interactive sessions designed to hone the students’ writing and storytelling skills.
Ms Whiting has published more than 20 young adult and children’s books, including award-winning A Swim in the Sea, the short-listed The Book of Chance, and the recently published Tilda.
Crediting her childhood love of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five as the inspiration to pursue professional writing, Ms Whiting enjoys supporting students in developing a love for books, thinking of them as companions for life.
“Reading today gives children the best chance at being an award-winning author tomorrow,” she said.
“I’m grateful to Australian Retirement Trust for encouraging young people to foster a love of literacy.”
Sandgate State School’s Emily was excited to meet Ms Whiting and further her love of reading. Emily’s Top 5 books were:
Emily’s teacher, Julie Kent, encouraged Emily and her classmates to participate in the QSuper Top 5 Book Challenge. “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to get to know an award-winning author. It is not something many students get to experience often,” Ms Kent said.
“I’d like to thank the team at Australian Retirement Trust, for helping students develop a love of reading. It’s such a great competition for students to be able to ponder their favourite books and write about why they actually enjoy them.”
Talara Primary College also won a writers’ workshop with Ms Whiting thanks to Riley, whose Top 5 books were:
Talara Primary College’s Acting Deputy Principal, Julie Henderson, said the school and the students felt lucky to “have such a celebrated author as Sue Whiting spend time at our school to share how she shapes ideas into gripping stories”.
“We are grateful for the support of the team at Australian Retirement Trust for this opportunity that will undoubtedly inspire our students to see themselves as authors and illustrators, and ignite a lifelong love of literature.”
As well as the two writing workshops, eight book vouchers valued at $500 each were distributed to runner-ups across the state.
CEO of Australian Retirement Trust, Bernard Reilly, said the strong partnership that existed between the team at Australian Retirement Trust, and the Premier’s Reading Challenge was driven by a shared belief in the importance of supporting literacy skills development in Queensland schools.
“The volume of entries we received [in the competition] gives us confidence that Queensland students, including those in rural and regional locations, remain passionate about reading,” Mr Reilly said.
The Premier's Reading Challenge is an annual state-wide initiative for state and non-state schools and home-educated students from Prep to Year 9, as well as children (aged up to five years) enrolled in an early childhood centre. The Premier's Reading Challenge aims to improve literacy and encourage children to read for pleasure and learning.
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Students are being urged to name their favourite books in the QSuper Top 5 Book Challenge, part of the Premier’s Reading Challenge.
Meet two of Queensland’s avid young readers, Hayden and Stephanie, who are the winners of this year’s QSuper Top 5 Book Challenge.
Students urged to name their favourite books in the QSuper Top 5 Book Challenge, part of the Premier’s Reading Challenge.