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Books in homes to inspire young readers.

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Media Release

Books in Homes to Inspire Young Readers K78 10th April 2001 

Primary school students in remote parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory will receive free books to take home and keep under an $800,000 initiative announced today by the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr David Kemp.

Launching the Books in Homes in Australia Pilot Project at Weipa North State School in far north Queensland, Dr Kemp said it was vital to inspire children at a young age with a love of reading.

“Reaching children at this crucial learning stage of their lives is important because all children need to discover the pleasure of reading. This vital skill is fundamental to both their futures both at school and later on at work.”

The pilot project, which covers about 10,500 primary school students in 91 schools in the Northern Territory and Queensland, represents a new partnership between the Commonwealth and Scholastic Australia, publishers of children's books. 

Many of the children in the pilot schools live in disadvantaged circumstances or in remote parts of Australia where there is poor access to libraries and few, if any, books at home. 

“This important initiative means many children will now know the thrill of choosing and owning six books of their own which they can share with their family, relatives and friends.

“This project is a good example of practical reconciliation and a great chance for school principals, teachers, parents and families and the community to work together to improve the education of our children,” said Dr Kemp.

Mr Ken Jolly, Managing Director, Scholastic Australia attended the launch along with about 600 primary school students, 300 of whom were Aboriginal and Islander children from Weipa North, Jessica Point and Mapoon schools.

At the launch Dr Kemp was welcomed by a number of Indigenous community members, including Mr Lyle Kawangka, Deputy Mayor, Aurukun Shire Council.

“I urge schools, school children and their parents to take advantage of the project to the benefit of all. The children will have their own books to read at home and be able to share a world of stories with their families and friends.”

Media contact: Catherine Job 02 62777 460 or 0408 648 400



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