On a near freezing day last month, just about everyone in Parkes turned out for the Reading Day with Friends, commemorating 20 years since Paint Parkes REaD began as Birth to Kindergarten. Children from birth were in attendance, through to High School students singing in shops and on the streets to children, shops were decorated in red, libraries took over a local club’s auditorium to act out a story, a local farmer sang and read with children in the Office Supplies store, carrier pigeons, and even Elvis spread the message of read with your baby from birth. Grandfathers spoke about it in the local pub, and young mums and their babies drove over an hour to get there.
Pietta Bridges, Reading Day Coordinator said that the day was a culmination of a few months of activities across children’s services, including pen pal writing, creating a friendship chain, and learning about being friends.
Through the creative genius of La Salle teacher, Danielle Calleja, and Paint the Swan Coordinator, Fiona Lee, students from La Salle College, wrote, designed and created children’s books, which they then read with children at a recent Paint the Swan REaD event.
Danielle then presented the outcomes of this project at the Australian Literacy Educators Conference in Adelaide recently.
La Salle College is a co-educational Catholic secondary school situated in the Swan Valley, Perth. The College caters for 1400 students in Years 7 – 12.
This is a terrific example of how High School students can support the early literacy development of young children in their community.
It takes a village to raise a child.