We received some exciting mail at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Education Institute this week. Two large bundles of certificates arrived in the post acknowledging the 64 children and young people who participated in the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge through the RCH. Together these young people read 808 books.
Since 2005, the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge has promoted the importance of reading among students in Victorian schools and encouraged families and parents to be more involved with supporting children’s reading in and beyond school. The Challenge aims to encourage all children and young people to develop a love of reading with the support of their parents, teachers and early childhood professionals. It is not a competition but a challenge for every child to read, to read more and to read more widely.
For the first time this year, the Challenge was expanded to include children from birth to five years of age, because we know the benefits of reading with and providing literacy learning activities for children during the early years. Sonya Nedovic, our early childhood teacher, was certainly kept busy supporting our littlest learners to engage with a variety of reading material whilst they were receiving treatment at the hospital.
Teachers, early childhood professionals and families here at the RCH worked hard to encourage and motivate children and young people to connect with reading through this initiative and our young readers demonstrated time and time again just how engaging a good book can be!
Some favourite titles from this years Challenge included
- The Hunger Games; Suzanne Collins
- The 26 Storey Treehouse; Andy Griffiths; Terry Denton (ill.)
- The Third Wheel; Jeff Kinney
- The Hobbit; J. R .R Tolkien
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; J. K. Rowling
- Dog Days; Jeff Kinney
- Cabin Fever; Jeff Kinney
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; J.K. Rowling
- Matilda; Roald Dahl; Quentin Blake
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Novel In Cartoons; Jeff Kinney
We would like to congratulate all of the children and families who took part in this challenging reading event!
Emma Blyth, star of short film, Em’s Song.
If you missed our inaugural Jumbunna Film Festival at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), don’t despair! You will have plenty of time over the summer to view these special films created by the children and young people of the RCH.
The Jumbunna Film Festival was the culmination of months of work by RCH patients and their teachers who created, produced, directed, edited and starred in their own films as part of the innovative in-house learning program for children and young people run by the RCH Education Institute. The films covered a range of topics and utilised a variety of narrative and technical devices but all of them were full of real insights into the children’s and young people’s experience of hospital.
Kathryn Blyth, mother of Emma who features in the short film, Em’s song, commented that the Jumbunna Film Festival was an engaging and exciting learning experience for her daughter. Emma has had much to contend with this year as a result of both her own health issues (which included three major hip operations) and the impact of injuries her brother, Michael, sustained as a result of an accident.
Emma, who attends Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School was so excited about sharing her film that she encouraged her school to bring her class along to the film festival. Kathryn noted that “Em really enjoyed the day and certainly felt like a star. She has been through so much this year, so it was nice to step ‘outside reality’ for at least one day. Her confidence was boosted so much and we loved seeing her so happy. Sharing her story with her class was a very special moment for Emma.”
To see all of the other films created by the children and young people for the Jumbunna Film Festival see the RCH Vimeo Channel at http://vimeo.com/channels/jumbunna/page:1
To find out more about Emma and Michael’s story visit http://www.michaelblyth.com.au/
The Fight Cancer Foundation’s mascot, Bo Bear, is looking forward to visiting children and young people at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) next Wednesday December 11.
Bo made his first appearance almost 20 years ago to encourage Australians to join the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Since then 175 000 Australians have registered and the registry provides access to 10 million potential donors worldwide.
From the creation of the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, the Fight Cancer Foundation have gone on to provide support services to cancer patients and their families and to fund research into finding a cure and improved treatment methods.
The Fight Cancer Foundation are long time supporters of the RCH Education Institute. They provide vital funding to support teaching and learning at the RCH for children and young people who face long absences from school as a result of their treatment.
So look out for Bo Bear when he visits the hospital to meet, greet and offer Christmas hugs and cheer to children and young people. Given that Bo has recently come out of semi retirement we are sure that there will be plenty of news to catch up on!
Primary, secondary and tertiary students are invited to apply for student scholarships that range in value from $300 to $2,000 through the Department of Education and Early Childhood (DEECD).
The scholarships support students and families to cover the costs of continuing to study and to engage in further study at senior secondary and tertiary levels.
Eligibility for scholarships is mainly based on financial need, academic results and involvement in school and community activities. However there are scholarships with other criteria.
Many of the 250 available scholarships are one off payments, while some are paid annually for each year of the student’s study.
Applications close 31 January 2014 and applications are only accepted online.
For more information see, https://www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/scholarships/
Jackie French, best-selling author of over 140 books, including the iconic Diary of a Wombat and Hitler’s Daughter, has this week, been announced as the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014 – 2015.
French will take over from the inaugural Laureate – a position shared between Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor – in January 2014. Both Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor have been great supporters of the literacy learning initiatives that take place at The Royal Children’s Hospital.
The Australian Children’s Laureate is an initiative developed by the Australian Children’s Literature Alliance, founded in 2008. The Laureate’s role is to promote the importance and transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.
The theme for French’s two-year term as Australian Children’s Laureate will be ‘Share a Story’.
To find out more about what the new Australian Children’s Laureate, Jackie French, will be doing and how to get involved with Laureate projects, visit www.childrenslaureate.org.au
Many children and young people suffer concussion each year as a result of a fall, car accident, collision in the playground or on the sporting field, or other activity. Most will recover quickly and fully. However, education professionals will often be involved in helping return a young person to school who may still be experiencing concussion symptoms— symptoms that can result in learning problems.
A new study being conducted by Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) in relation to sports-related concussion may enhance the knowledge of education professionals of a concussion’s potential effects on a young person, and the appropriate management of both the return-to-play and the return-to-school process.
About 300 children arrived at The Royal Children’s Hospital emergency department with sports-related head injuries between May and November this year. They included 90 children who took part in the MCRI study on concussion. Most of the children, aged between five and 18 years, reported one or more of the main symptoms of concussion. In 91% of cases parents and 96% of patients were unaware of any concussion or return-to-play guidelines from their sporting organisations.
To read more about the study, see
or to read Canchild’s Return to School guidelines, see