Top student readers heading to Hervey Bay

AVID student readers across the Wide Bay have their noses buried deep in their books as they prepare for the upcoming 2021 Readers Cup.

Xavier Catholic College teacher librarian Graham Bebington gives some encouragement to the Wide Bay students taking part in this year’s Readers Cup. PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

Teams from dozens of schools in the region will compete for bragging rights and a shot at the state title when they are quizzed on their selection of books next month.

Students will compete in Year 5/6, Year 7/8 and Year 9/10 categories.

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The Year 5/6 competition will be hosted at Xavier Catholic College in Hervey Bay on June 8.

Wide Bay Regional Coordinator for the Year 5/6 competition, Graham Bebington said organisers are expecting around 40 teams to take part at the college.

Mr Bebington, children’s book author and teacher librarian at Xavier Catholic College, told Good News Fraser Coast the competition was a great way to help instill a love for reading among children.

“It’s a very competitive event that will see around 200 Year 5 and 6 students taking part,” he said.

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All the Year 5/6 teams from the Wide Bay region will read the same selection of books.

“The great thing about the competition is that it inspires children to want to read and develop a love for books with other likeminded children,” Mr Bebington explained.

Students will read five books as they prepare for the quiz.

Mr Bebington said the competition requires participants to dedicate a lot of their time to turning pages.

“They need to know the stories and remember facts and hidden details from each of them. Many of the children will read the books more than once.

“As they gear up for the regional competition next month, the most important thing is that they read for pleasure first.”

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The winning Wide Bay teams from each of the three categories will travel to Brisbane for the State Finals in September – after completing a new set of books, of course!

The Readers Cup is organised by the Queensland branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

The competition was launched in 2004 and initially catered for Year 6-8 children in a single competition.

It then split into two sections of Year 5/6 and Year 7/8 students.

The popularity of the event in the Wide Bay saw the Year 9/10 category added to the mix in 2017.

State finals have been held in all three categories since 2020.

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