Category Archives: General

Our new Patron!

We are delighted to announce that Her Excellency, Mrs Linda Hurley is our new
Patron.

Mrs Hurley writes: “I am delighted to become Patron of Paint the Town REaD.
There are few things I am more passionate about than encouraging our young people to read, sing and rhyme. Many of us take these foundational skills for granted but it is far too common for children to arrive at school without the skills necessary to make the most of their early education. That is why Paint the Town REaD’s efforts are so critical. The more we encourage parents, carers and communities to read with children the better off they will be as individuals and we will be as a country.
I’m looking forward to supporting your cause and celebrating your efforts over the next five years.” 

Thank you Lady Cosgrove

Thank you Lady Cosgrove for being our first Patron – for your warmth, wisdom, laughter and commitment to the children of Australia.

Over these past three years we have truly valued meeting and celebrating with you our milestones and plans for the future.

We wish you and Sir Peter all the very best for your future adventures, knowing that they will include reading with children from birth!

Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove has been bitten again by the REaDing Bug at
Admiralty House, Sydney, NSW.
l to r: Rhonda Brain, Lady Cosgrove, Barbie Bates, Lindy Alwis, Tracey Kirk Downey.

Thank you Dymocks

As we head off on Stage 2 of the Paint Australia REaD Book Relay, from Adelaide to Wollongong via rural and urban SA, Victoria and NSW we take with us $10,000 worth of books donated by Dymocks Children’s Charity for distribution to local communities, especially in the bush. A number of the books have also headed west to WA and remote SA.

It is through people like Dymocks and generous local communities that we are building the Relay Book which will capture how across Australia we value and celebrate our babies and young children by reading with them from birth so that they will be ready for learning at school. Please keep following the Relay on our Facebook page – Paint the Town REaD.

Thank you Perth for a terrific Conference

Our 7th National Early Literacy Conference was an outstanding success, starting with a PreConference Symposium on 20 March lead by Curtin University early literacy experts, A/Prof Suze Leitao, Dr Mary Claessen and Dr Mark Boyes with Dyslexia Speld’s Mandy Nayton.

That was followed by a WA State Parliament Reception, hosted by the Hon Janine  Freeman, with the Hon David Templeman theatrically launching the Paint Australia REaD Book Relay.

The Conference ‘proper’ got underway the following day, with Aunty Marie Taylor Welcoming us so warmly to Country, and WA’s Governor Kim Beasley opening the Conference. Dr Bret Hart, Colin Pettit – WA Commissioner for Children and Young People, Greg Mitchell and Barbie Bates were ‘just what the Doctor ordered’ for Keynote speakers.

And Workshops led by experts from around the country, kept delegates inspired and involved.

No sooner than the Conference finished, did the Relay begin. After a week in the SW and Perth, it is now heading east. Keep track of it on Facebook – Paint the Town REaD!

Seasons Greetings and thank you!

Thank you to the 1000s of people across Australia who have grown the PTTR movement through 2018 – Aboriginal Elders who lead their local PTTRB&Y communities, volunteer readers in shopping centres, emergency services staff and local businesses who take the time to share books and stories with children, librarians, primary and high school students who read to their baby brothers and sisters, child and family workers who incorporate early literacy into everything they do, the incredible PTTR local co-ordinators who somehow find the time to do amazing things, generous probono  workers like Lifeline who have supplied us with over 1000 books this year, Good360 and Men Sheds, the AMP Foundation, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, PRRR and many more. You have all helped a child discover the thrill of books and language.

A4 Christmas bookmarks 2018

PTTR Turns 5 – and celebrates with registrations open for our 7th National Conference

Paint the Town Read Ltd turned 5 yesterday. We wish to thank everyone who has helped us with their time, wisdom, enthusiasm, probono support, humour and money.

The Board is thrilled that now 78 communities across Australia – from Pannawonica to the Pacific, from Cairns to Casterton, are working to engage everyone to read, talk, sing, rhyme and draw with their babies from birth, so that they will be ready for learning at school.

And there is no better way to celebrate than to invite you all to attend our 7th National Early Literacy Conference in Perth 20 -22 March 2019.

The theme is Books and Bonding Build Brains – that’s what the (Fremantle) Doctor Orders.

Register here. 

Because of Her, We Can

This NAIDOC Week 2018, we remember, pay our respects to and thank the  many many Aunties, colleagues and friends who have directed the building of  Paint the Town READ, Black and Yellow across Australia. Thank you for your wisdom, love, forgiveness, laughter and patience as you have led and taught your non-Indigenous friends, for the sake of your children and grandchildren.

Follow us on Facebook this week as we reflect on and thank a representative group of these women from across Australia.

A message from our Founder

Many years ago, I was principal of a country school. It bothered me that too many of our children had trouble learning to read and write. It bothered me into action.

In my school we made a huge effort. Best practice. It was a blitz. With great results, right?
Well, no. We had results, but they were not great. For all our efforts, the results were — as a teacher I hate admitting this — disappointing. This got me thinking. Are some children just doomed? Or were we missing something? I looked wider. What I found changed everything.

Study after study showed that a child’s ability to learn to read and write at school is set in the first five years of life. The first three years, in fact. School was too late. And what’s needed in those early years? Simple. Yet I could see that it wasn’t happening in many families.

Spend time with children every day, from birth — talking, singing, rhyming, reading — and you’ll prepare them to read and write at school. It’s from this insight that Paint the Town REaD was born.

‘Painting the town red’ carries the notion of celebration, of ‘doing’ the town, of saturating it with excitement and enthusiasm. That’s the literacy culture we want to generate. We pull together community groups, agencies and businesses, and we inspire them to integrate this culture into everything they do with (and as) families. And to keep inventing the most fun and creative ways to do so.

It’s a growing, nationwide network of people whose influence can change thousands of lives, long term.

Will you join us?

Rhonda Brain, OAM