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Did I say 5 Million?

2/08/2018

Our 5 Million Word Challenge will now be known as the ??

Our students are amazing! I set our students in Years 4 - 6 a goal of reading 5 million words for the term. Simply put, they have SMASHED it already. I then raised the bar to 20 million and I believed that figure, whilst obtainable, was a decent target to set. I checked our word count at the beginning of this week and we have read almost 23 million words. Fantastic effort to those students involved in this challenge. However, whether the goal is 5, 10, 20, or 30 million is neither here nor there. Our aim is to promote a love of reading.
When I was in primary school I never read. I hated it. My school principal told my mum to try and get me to read anything - cereal boxes, street signs or even comics. That's when I was introduced to Archie and his friends: Jughead, Moose, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Ethel and Midge. (Showing my age here). I also discovered MAD Magazines. I loved these comics and couldn't wait to for a new one to come out. I was no longer fearful or reluctant to read and was now willing to try reading new things. I remember the very first book I borrowed from the school library. It was called The Phantom Cyclist. It was a book of short stories about ghosts. It was scary but I couldn't put it down. From there, I have never looked back and have enjoyed reading ever since.
If you have a child that is a reluctant reader, try finding something that they love. Magazines and comics are a great way for kids to discover the enjoyment of reading without it being a 'chore'. We all know that the game Fortnite is the latest video game craze. Like many parents you are probably sick of hearing about it. However, this might be your opportunity to get your reluctant readers reading. Fortnite and games like Minecraft have numerous books you can purchase.
Family reading time is another great activity to try. I know of families that block 30 minutes out every couple of days to sit and silently read together as a family. At the end of the 30 minutes everybody gives a recount of what they have just read. It's a great way for adults to model reading for enjoyment and to spend some quality time together. Having some quiet time without screens is an added bonus.
Happy reading!
Brett Somerville