Tania McCarthy, Rosary Primary School
I had the great pleasure of visiting Rosary Primary School here in Canberra today, as part of my role as an Ambassador for the Chief Minister's Reading Challenge. What could be more fun than talking books, showing how books are made, celebrating books, sharing books, laughing about books, and reminding children how much fun they are (not to mention how they make their brains and hearts grow super huge).
They were such a gorgeous bunch of kids, and have a clear and deep love of books and reading. Our teachers and teacher librarians are absolutely vital when it comes to harnessing and developing a love of story. As humans, story is part of our genetic makeup, and at its core is, of course, is literacy--a vital skill in our increasingly text-based world.
Thanks to the Chief Minister's Reading Challenge, children all over Canberra and surrounds have the opportunity to engage with story and literacy in ways they may not otherwise enjoy.
Jack Heath, Canberra High School
Popular local author Jack Heath visited year 7 and 8 students at Canberra High School on 5 June. Jack shared his experiences as a reader and a writer, and gave some tips on how students might improve their own storytelling skills.
- Jack was incredibly entertaining and provided lots of insight into the work of the writing industry and how to write well. He gave lots of advice on how to use your time well, for example, recalling the time he spent writing his first book where he spent 50 hours on the first draft and over 100 hours editing. He somehow managed to be informative and pleasantly entertaining.
- Jack Heath gave us a lot of tips for when we're writing.
- I really enjoyed the talk. It was very funny and I learnt quite a bit. I liked how he made references to things in real life.
Jack Heath, Galilee School
Jack Heath visited year 10 students at Galilee School and read two chapters of his soon-to-be-released book, ‘Liars’.
Galilee School wrote: Thanks for the visit, Jack! The students can’t wait to read the rest of your book.
Tracey Hawkins, The Woden School
Harry Laing, Miles Franklin Primary School and Taylor Primary School
On 26 July, Harry Laing visited Miles Franklin Primary School in Evatt and Taylor Primary School in Kambah. Harry’s dynamic and engaging performance of poetry for children captivated students and teachers alike. The range of poetry styles and content was inspiring for students, as they started their own pieces of poetry and prose inspired by Harry’s words. The spontaneous applause and requests to repeat poems showed how much the poems were enjoyed.
Irma Gold, St John Vianney School
Irma Gold visited St John Vianney School on 30 August and shared her experiences researching and writing picture books.
St John Vianney wrote:
Thank you for your stimulating presentation to our St John Vianney students.
I could see that much of your inspiration for writing came from your love of animals. It was interesting to hear about your firsthand experiences with elephants.
The students were intrigued by the whole writing, illustrating and publishing endeavour.
I will use your strategy of incorporating all of the senses in the students' writing, as I thought this approach could encourage a variety of vivid experiences and rich language.