iSelect Titans second-rower Ben Ridge looks back fondly on his country upbringing on a beef cattle farm near Roma in central Queensland and loves getting back to the bush when he can.
So he had just as much enjoyment from his visit to Nanango State School, as a Titans ambassador to help the school with its RAH (Read at Home) program, as the students did.
The tough forward who battled injury this season was there motivate students to persist with, and improve, their reading by spending time at home in front of books.
The school, located between Chinchilla and the Sunshine Coast hinterland, established the RAH program in 2014 which involves children recording reading sessions they complete at home. Each reading session is recorded and accrues so that they can reach different levelled reading ‘clubs’.
When they reach a club, they have a variety of prizes to choose from including tickets to a Gold Coast Titans game, sporting equipment and rugby league magazines.
Ben spent time reading books to classes, answering questions and sharing his story before enjoying lunch time with students who had reached ‘Club 120’.
“Ben Ridge’s visit was well received by students particularly connecting with his country upbringing and they are all looking forward to when he will return to the school,” said Kylie Westlake, head of curriculum at the school. “Until then they will all continue reading!”