Jiwon has a brush with fame after winning competition

As the 2021 Premier’s Reading Challenge launches today we meet a Year 2 student whose artworks secured an author visit to his school.

01 March 2021
Two adults stand with a child between them, all three are holding picture books.
Image: Inspired artwork: Writer Aura Parker, Year 2 student Jiwon Yoo and deputy principal Roxanne Picoaga.

Homebush West Public School Year 2 student Jiwon Yoo has secured his school some VIP treatment after winning the 2020 Words and Art competition in the K-2 category.

Prize-winning author Aura Parker, an illustrator, writer and designer who creates picture books, visited the school as part of Jiwon’s prize last week courtesy of Dymocks Children’s Charities.

The Words and Art competition first took place in 2016 and is a chance for students to respond creatively and artistically to a book on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge book list.

Jiwon’s winning entry was a 75-page book of drawings depicting scenes from Korea, Egypt and Russia in response to the text, “Travel Book”.

Jiwon said art was his favourite subject at school and he was happy to win the competition.

“My artwork represents all the different countries and cultures of the world. I enjoyed drawing Japan and South Korea the best because I am Korean and my mum lived in Japan for a little while,” he said.

Homebush West Public deputy principal Roxanne Picoaga said the school was very proud of Jiwon’s success.

“Opportunities like these reinforce the idea that creative expression, whether it be through artwork, music or a written response, is a great way of engaging with quality literature,” Ms Picoaga said.

“Competitions also encourage discipline in young writers and illustrators. For those who aspire to become professional writers and illustrators, discipline is an essential skill to develop.”

The author visit came ahead of today’s launch of the 2021 NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC).

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said last year almost nine million books were read during the challenge, a 5 per cent increase on previous years.

“It's important for children to discover what books have to offer because we know a passion for learning will set them up for the future," Ms Berejiklian said.

“Whether it’s picking up a book to boost your knowledge, relax at the end of a hard day, or look for inspiration from great figures, reading offers so much for anyone at nearly any age.

"I would love to see as many children as possible develop an interest in reading like I did when I was at school.”

The PRC aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and enables them to experience quality literature.

The 2020 Words and Art Competition winners were:

K-2 category: Jiwon Yoo, Year 2, Homebush West Public School

3-6 category: Hana Lee, Year 3, Castle Cove Public School

7-9 category: Jimin Song, Year 9, Strathfield Girls High School

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