ACT News

Radford principal and deputies taken to the Minister's office in Dr Seuss attire

The principal and teachers at Radford College are backing the children's reading challenge.

Have you ever heard of students sending their principal to an office?

That's exactly what Radford College Junior School students did on Wednesday.

Radford College staff, Principal Fiona Godfrey, Head of Junior School Paul Southwell and Head of Secondary School ...
Radford College staff, Principal Fiona Godfrey, Head of Junior School Paul Southwell and Head of Secondary School Phillip O'Regan begin their walk from Radford to Parliament House. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Radford College principal, Mrs Fiona Godfrey, joined her deputies Paul Southwell and Phillip O'Regan on a two-hour walk from their school to Parliament House. The catch? They were dressed in Dr Seuss attire that would likely be more comfortable on a winter's day than in 34-degree heat.

Watching authority trot off in amusing costumes was a well-deserved reward for the 560 students who earned more than 50,000 points in the annual summer holiday Reading and Writing Challenge.

The kids were amused with their teachers' Dr Seuss costumes.
The kids were amused with their teachers' Dr Seuss costumes. Photo: Rohan Thomson

For the challenge, students read with their families, completed writing projects and submitted photos of themselves reading in unusual places.

Mrs Godfrey said some children read under water, inside a closet, on top of a dog and at various holiday destinations.

"We have been doing this challenge since Junior School was opened in 2008 and each year the school ups the ante in what teachers have to do," she said.

"But this year we wanted the parents to take part because research shows when parents are involved in their child's learning then much more effective learning occurs."

They still managed to smile despite sweltering in the 34-degree heat.
They still managed to smile despite sweltering in the 34-degree heat. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Having surpassed the target with flying colours, the kids (many wearing their own Dr Seuss accessories) got to farewell their teachers with cheeky chants as the 13-kilometre trek began.

Their destination was the office of Education Minister Senator Simon Birmingham where they would be joined by the college's 96 Year 6 students to hand over the book with photos of the students reading.

It was a long walk from Radford College to Parliament House
It was a long walk from Radford College to Parliament House Photo: Rohan Thomson

They dropped the same book to the University of Canberra on the way and were feeling the heat after less than 10 minutes' walking.

Head of Secondary School, Mr O'Regan, was "looking forward to the downhill sections" and Head of Junior School, Mr Southwell, joked that he wished they'd had a different idea.

But they all agreed it was worth it to instil a lifelong love of reading in their students.

"It helps them in their down time from their holiday break to not drop off reading," Mr Southwell said.

"And for our new boys and girls, it sets a tone about what we find important at Radford."