New literacy program will help Murray Bridge children to develop lifelong love of reading

New literacy program will help Murray Bridge children to develop lifelong love of reading

by Freya Lucas

May 23, 2022

The rural community of Murray Bridge in South Australia has recently been awarded funds through a Local Government Early Childhood Community Innovation Grant for its “Paint the Town REaD” initiative.

 

“Paint the Town REaD” is an early literacy community program that is run nationally to encourage communities to read, sing, talk, and play with children from birth and helps children to develop the skills they need to learn to read and write.

 

Starting later this year, an egg will begin visiting local kindergartens, childcare centres, and community events, growing with each visit. The egg will continue to grow until a Reading Day event early next year, when it will hatch into a mystery mascot.

 

“More than 20 per cent of Australian children arrive at school without the skills necessary to make the most of their education,”‘ said Paint the Town REaD Executive Director Barbie Bates.

 

In some regional and rural communities, like Murray Bridge, the figure is much higher. Children who start school behind often don’t catch up, making initiatives such as these a vital component to combating the challenges. 

 

“Through the use of grant funding we will be able to establish the Paint the Town REaD program within the Rural City of Murray Bridge Council area, helping to increase the amount of reading undertaken by families in pre-school homes, improving the chances that these kids have during their schooling years and the years beyond,” Ms Bates added. 

 

The program will run until October 2023. To access local coverage of this story, please see here

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