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August 2021

The Ballarat Foundation read a book every day during Book Week to celebrate children’s literacy during lockdown.

Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator, Ricci Shepherd, read stories from the Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlist as part of the Ballarat Reads Online program. Usually, Book Week is an exciting week for schools, kindergartens and child care centres. Teachers make a big effort to display books and decorate their rooms or the school library. Often there is a parade where students and children will dress up as their favourite character from a book. However, many children missed out on festivities due online learning.

STORY TIME: Ballarat Foundation community engagement and communications coordinator Ricci Shepherd reads to her eight-year-old daughter Zoe McGreevy. Picture: Lachlan Bence

The Ballarat Foundation understands the impact that early childhood literacy can make to a child’s success not only in school but later in life.

The benefit to children’s development just from reading a book to them is multi-faceted. Not only is there an increase in better communication, vocabulary and oral skills, children can learn also learn life skills from being read stories. Social skills, lateral thinking, building curiosity, increasing attention span and developing numeracy skills are all outcomes from reading children’s books. Its also a really nice bonding time to share with parents or carers and this develops emotional skills for young children.

The Ballarat Reads program is an extension of Ballarat Foundation’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which delivers a book to the letterbox of more than 300 children aged zero to five every month.

To find out more about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library please click here.