- Posted by Author: Jonathan Oppenheim in Category: Media Release | 1 min read

9 March 2023

Essendon children can go ‘wild about reading’, as they embark on the annual Premiers’ Reading Challenge for another year.

Member for Essendon Danny Pearson MP said the 2023 Premiers’ Reading Challenge was now open, and supported Essendon students and families to get behind the initiative that promotes the importance of reading for children and students from early childhood to Year 10 while encouraging families to be more involved with supporting reading at home.

This year’s theme is ‘wild about reading’ with the accompanying artwork designed by Kate Isobel Scott, a talented Victorian-based illustrator known for her colourful, quirky and endearing hand-made characters.

The Premiers’ Reading Challenge encourages students to read a set number of books over the year depending on their Challenge level, with their reading efforts recorded online. Picture books, short stories, poems or non-fiction books in any language can be part of the Challenge.

Children who have not yet started school are challenged to experience 40 books with the help of their families as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge for the Early Years.

Most of the books are from Challenge book lists while the remainder can be of the reader’s choosing.

The Challenge was launched in February 2005 to support children and young people’s reading skills, highlight the importance of reading for literacy development and help more Victorians fall in love with reading.

In 2013, the Challenge was expanded to include young children from birth to five, in recognition of the strong evidence showing that reading to young children from birth promotes brain development and language learning.

Since the Challenge began in 2005, more than 4 million students in Victoria have read 57 million books. For more information, visit


Quotes attributable to Member for Essendon Danny Pearson MP

“I encourage Essendon children and students to pick up a book and be transported into wild new worlds, learn exciting new things and to feel inspired by their own imaginations.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Natalie Hutchins MP

“Reading is one of the most vital skills our children and young people can learn from an early age, and it’s also a wonderful pastime. The Premiers’ Reading Challenge is a fantastic way of supporting this.”

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