Our story

We’re a charity improving children’s literacy

Who we are

We’re an early literacy movement. Encouraging people to read with children from birth, so they start school ready to learn.

Why it’s important

Our brains do most of their critical development in the first three years of life. A baby’s brain doubles in weight in the first year, tripling by age three.

Every time we read, talk, sing and rhyme with children brain connections grow, and build the foundations for learning.

Children with good foundational early literacy skills arrive at school:

  • able to communicate their needs
  • understanding conversations
  • able to take direction, and
  • ready to learn to read and write, with a healthy brain.

Helping children since 1998

From humble beginnings, PTTR has grown into a thriving community of over 80 local groups, helping over 500,000 pre-school aged children get ready to learn at school.

Rhonda Brain, the then principal of Parkes Public School started PTTR with six other local school principals.

It bothered me that too many of our children had trouble learning to read and write. It bothered me into action.  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.

Rhonda Brain, OAM

Our movement is making a difference

If children start school without early literacy skills, no matter how good the teaching, these initial cognitive gaps increase as children go through school.

Especially for children from low socio-economic areas. Studies have shown the academic achievement gap increasing over the past 50 years.

Izabelle’s Story

Izabelle first met local reading mascot, Poppy, at the local footy club and was instantly a huge fan. She would scour the local paper for images of Poppy every week. She knew that if she found Poppy, her mum could take her to the next reading session.

Izabelle was more than ready for reading when she started school. She encouraged all her friends to learn to read and love books as much as she did. At six, she entered the MS Readathon and raised over $4000 — all because she had a love of reading from a young age.

Good for everyone

We target communities where the the Australian Early Development Census shows that over 20% of children struggle with literacy.

These communities may rank poorly on socio-economic indices, or have higher Aboriginal or refugee populations.

Community Involvement

We know that the best way to encourage early literacy is through community leadership and involvement. Because of this, the movement revolves around empowering local groups to lead and develop activities that work for their own areas.

Meet the team

Our work

Community groups and partnerships

We support the development of regional partnerships. There are already more than eighty involved communities, and this number is growing fast. We’re across five states, in remote, rural, regional and urban communities.


We share our knowledge and techniques to support literacy from birth with our local champions, who pass them on to their communities in locally tailored ways.

Flexible Collaborative Approach

PTTR works when it is led by and for local communities, building on their own cultures and strengths.  

Access to Resources

We buy, openly share and create resources that champions can access and use within their local groups.

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