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It seems almost impossible to believe that there are some children in our local community who do not own a single book. Children who are read to everyday, start school having heard almost 300,000 more words than those who are not. They then go on to have stronger academic results at school and better communication and social skills.  

Research has clearly proven the benefit of reading to young children and the Ballarat Foundation prioritises Early Childhood Success as one of its key strategic pillars. Recently, the Readings Foundation has supported the Ballarat Foundation to deliver the Ballarat Reads program to Yuille Park Community College Young Parents Program.

This project will focus on teen parents and their children aged between 0-5, to develop literacy skills through reading. Funding has been provided by the Readings Foundation to place 18 children on the Ballarat Reads program over a 5-year period. It is designed to increase both parent and child literacy and decrease intergenerational barriers to access education.

“My 3 year old loves turning the pages of the book and we look at the pictures together and point things out.”

We got our first book in the mail the other day, it was really exciting!”

The Ballarat Reads program, in conjunction with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, delivers one book each month to the child’s home until they are 5, enabling them to build a home library.

Reading to your children encourages not only a love for books and reading, but also inspires the imagination and develops cognitive brain function. The books will help the teen parents, who are juggling their own studies and parenthood, establish a reading routine at home for their children.

The Ballarat Foundation would like to thank the Readings Foundation for there support in delivering this program.