Students pass on knowledge at Read to Grow day

Read to Grow
Bundaberg State High School students previously identified as not meeting minimum literacy standards will become role models for younger children at Read to Grow Day. Photo: Contributed

Bundaberg State High School students previously identified as not meeting minimum literacy standards will become role models for younger children at Read to Grow Day tomorrow.

The students have been improving their reading skills through a Rapid Reading program developed by the late Di Barrett who was a literacy coach at the school.

The event will see stalls and activities take over Alexandra Park from 9.30am to 1pm on Wednesday, August 21 and is an opportunity for the literacy program students to share what they have learnt with their younger counterparts.

Deputy principal Nancy Paterson said there would be 15 stalls on the day offering hands on literacy activities for primary school students.

“In Book Week last year we had 1500 primary school students come along,” Nancy said.

“The feedback was just amazing.”

Read to Grow is fully funded by Bundaberg State High School and Nancy said they even sent buses to the schools to ensure children could attend.

This year’s event is based on the Book Week theme ‘reading is your super power’.

Nancy said it was a fun day with students dressing in theme and plenty of activities to enjoy.

read to grow
Students at last year's Read to Grow event. Photo: contributed

The stalls will offer an insight in to student studies including science, international students, sign language, manual arts, orienteering with a bear hunt and the Girls Academy sharing indigenous culture.

Nancy said the Rapid Read program was among the best literacy programs offered in the state.

Diagnostic tests are given to all new students to identify students in need of extra support.

“Program participants are given one-on-one sessions three times a week to improve their reading skills.

“To share the students’ achievements Di created Read to Grow.”

Read to Grow a celebration of achievement

Teacher Aide Kirsty Sommers helps to administer the reading program and said Read to Grow was a wonderful way for the students to celebrate how far they had come.

“Quite a few students reach high school and can’t write their name,” Kirsty said.

“Students who may have been struggling to read can now go on to other skills like comprehension.

“It’s got all of these other levels now.”

She said initially only Bundaberg State High School feeder schools were targeted for Read to Grow but now the invitation had been extended to all Bundaberg schools.

“The reading program, a lot of the primary schools are now taking that on too so when they do reach Bundy High there is less coming through.”

Students involved in the program say they are proud to be able to share the importance of literacy with Read to Grow attendees.

Year seven student Shainia said her reading had already improved under the program.

“I’m finding it easier to read and my confidence is much better when reading,” Shainia said.

Declan in year nine said it had helped him to broaden his vocabulary and develop strategies to sound out words.

Skye, year eight, and Riley, year nine, agreed that it was a good feeling to pass on their knowledge to younger students.

“It feels good to know that I will be able to inspire some kids to keep reading,” Riley said.

He said he was looking forward to helping kids to make things on the day.

“I’d like for them to have fun and be able to show their parents what they’ve made.”

2019 event dedicated to Di

Nancy said the 2019 Read to Grow event would include recognition that the entire program was Di’s “brainchild”.

“This year is actually going to be dedicated to Di.

“Di is going to be our superhero.”

Teachers in attendance will sport shirts with Di’s photo and tiaras.


  1. What a fantastic legacy my beautiful wife Di has created. This was her passion and it’s great to see it continued by others. Congrats to you all.

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