Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Statements by Members
An important occasion passed last week with little fanfare, but it was one I feel is important. National Book Week commenced on 16 August, before concluding on the 22nd. In a time of video games and social media, Book Week reminds us how important it is that we do everything we can to encourage our children to read. In fact, a recent international study by the Australian National University and the University of California found that having books in the home had a greater effect on a child's educational attainment than other factors such as the education level of the child's parents, the country's GDP or the education system—and the more books you add, the greater the benefit.
While the coalition government is increasing spending on education—by eight per cent this year, eight per cent next year and eight per cent the year after—it is clear that one of the best investments we can make in education to help our kids get ahead is to get more books in the home. Therefore, in conjunction with national Book Week, I have been running the inaugural Hughes Book Drive, where I have been asking residents of the local suburbs to donate any of their preloved or outgrown books. So far, we have collected over 4,000 books, which is close to our target goal of 5,000. The books will be distributed to school-age children across my electorate. There are many interesting titles in the books collected thus far. Forget Paul Kelly's Triumph and Demise. The favourite one I have found was a book called Adventures of the Red Tape Gang. Some of the more interesting chapters include 'Organising the gang', 'A dangerous mistake', 'Something's going on'— (Time expired)