Planning Our Trips To The Library

In Victoria (and many other states in Australia) the Premier of our State holds a Reading Challenge each year. The aim of the challenge is “to promote a love of reading. It is not a competition, but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely.”

Students in Prep to Year 2 are challenged to read or ‘experience’ 30 books and students in Years 3 to 10 are challenged to read 15 books by 31 August 2008. For children who are just learning to read, their parent or other adult can help them to ‘experience’ books by reading to or with them and talking about the story, text and pictures.

At the end of the challenge period certificates are given to celebrate the achievements of all students who successfully complete the Reading Challenge. The names of these children are also published in the Victorian broadsheet newspaper The Age in a special supplement.

Both my boys love to read, so I try to use the challenge time (ends 31st August) to broaden their reading tastes and encourage them to try new authors. I have also found this a useful way to teach the children to use the library’s catalogue computer system.

The Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) is very well organised and supplies fantastic lists of age appropriate books that are on the challenge list. So now when we go the library, the boys have their lists and spend some time using the computer system to find out if the books they want are available and where to find them.

I have attached the lists which I downloaded from the PRC’s Website. I have slightly modified the spreadsheet to include a column where the children can enter the date that they read the books. All books must be entered into the PRC website and be verified by a teacher from their school to count towards their challenge totals.

Even though we can enter the books they read directly onto the system at home, I find it too hard to keep track of what we read without a paper record. (The lists are long, so I made sure that I printed them out double sided and on recycled paper!) Thinker who is in grade 4 keeps track of his books independently and I assist Little Rascal who is grade 1.

Even if your child is not doing the PRC the lists are still a great resource of books for each grade level.

Prep to Grade 2 Challenge Book List
Grade 3 and 4 Challenge Book List
Grade 5 and 6 Challenge Book List

Children can read across higher levels if they are able. Thinker likes lots of the books included in the grade 5 and 6 list, so hence I have included it above. Lists for older children up to year 10 can be found on the Premier’s Reading Challenge Book List page of the website.