The winners, Miriam Ford and Lila Plunkett, also received a certificate for their winning book Little Things which will now be included as part of the local book bag program for 12 months, and handed out to children attending their 3.5 year Maternal and Child Health visit.
The book competition is an initiative of the Greater Shepparton Early Years Language workgroup, which is part of the Greater Shepparton City Council’s Best Start program. This is the seventh year the workgroup has run the competition, which is open to all Grade 5 and 6 students attending a school in Greater Shepparton.
The workgroup wanted to include a local story as part of the book bag program and to celebrate local young talent. Nearly 1,000 children receive this bag each year from their Maternal and Child Health nurse.
“Reading is such an important and enjoyable activity and the program hopes to encourage a love of books and reading amongst children and their families,” Council Acting Director Community Amanda Tingay said.
Students were asked to write and illustrate an original story and could partner with another student if they wished. Primary schools could select up to three entries from their students to put forward for judging.
“We received 30 fantastic entries from 12 different primary schools, which is wonderful considering the challenges we have all faced with COVID-19 this year. The quality of the entries received was very high and the creative and colourful illustrations really added to the stories,” Ms Tingay said.
“An independent, three-person judging panel had the very difficult task of selecting a winner and said it was extremely tough this year. In the end all three judges agreed Little Things was the winning story for 2020, so congratulations to Miriam and Lila.
“A copy of all 30 stories will be placed in the Shepparton Library so the community can go in and have a look at the wonderful young talent we have here in Greater Shepparton, and a copy of the winning story will also be sent to every primary school in Greater Shepparton.”
The students’ school also receives a $100 voucher to purchase books and all runners up receive a certificate.