Our work

How it works

Our movement follows evidence based-best practice. We reference attachment and education research and worked closely with community partners.

Local movements are community led

Through our local champions and partners, we seek ways to embed our message: that families are encouraged to read to their children from birth. 

It supports our ‘no-door’ policy, where we remove the barriers to get involved. It just happens.

Communities encourage positive change

It could be a book given to a newborn in the maternity unit of the local hospital, a local café or pub sharing a book box, local sports heroes reading with babies, or police having books in their patrol cars to give to children.

Without the early foundations in place, children will most likely struggle with learning for the rest of their lives, no matter how good teaching is at school. Children whose parents read with them in their early years of life show better performance in school, through their teens and into adulthood.

Benefits of reading

Reading with children boosts:

  • their social skills,
  • understanding and talking, and
  • brain development.

The evidence base

The PTTR model has three key evidence- based methods:

  • attachment and the importance of early brain development,
  • the key elements of early literacy, and
  • universal and targeted community capacity building using an assets based collective impact framework.

Why it works

Children whose parents read with them in the early years of life show markedly better performance in school, even into their teens.  The lasting advantage is evident regardless of socio-economic background.

Meanwhile, students who are permanently excluded from school and offenders in prison often show extremely low levels of literacy.

When parents share books with children, they also promote children’s understanding of the world, their emotional wellbeing and their social skills. 


Analysis of the Australian Early Development census has shown that children are three times as likely to start school ready to learn where there has been a strong PTTR presence for 5 years or more.

The Paint The Town REaD, Black and Yellow (PTTRB&Y) movement

The Paint The Town REaD, Black and Yellow (PTTRB&Y) movement is based on advice and direction from remote, rural, regional and urban community senior Aboriginal women. We wish to acknowledge their wisdom, love and commitment to their babies.

The program aims to generate a sustainable community movement that values and celebrates literacy, so all Aboriginal children arrive at school ready to learn.

It reflects the wisdom and the culture of each local Aboriginal or Torres Strait community.

It is led by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander elders for those communities, supported by PTTR Ltd and any local PTTR community groups, to the level that the elders request and direct it. Elders decide what the movement will be called and give direction on its implementation and development.

The name Paint the Town REaD, Black and Yellow was given by Maureen Silleri, a Wiradjuri woman who has been an important mentor in the development of PTTRB&Y.

To date, PTTRB&Y is operational or forming in over thirty communities in eighteen Aboriginal countries. These communities are a mix of remote, rural, regional and urban.

Community Events

Each community runs its own program of events for PTTR.

Here is a sample of the types of events you may find in your community:

Our Impact

Grass root movements like PTTR cause lasting change to communities and improve lifestyles for everyone involved.

You’ve heard the saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. We take that saying to heart.  Strengthening that village with knowledge and education about the importance of reading with babies from birth, so that they will be ready for learning at school.

We’re the only early literacy movement in Australia that actively involves the whole community.

Our model is extremely cost-effective. Meaning, we can reach more children, more parents, and more communities. Changing their futures and future children.

The facts

It takes five years to work — which, co-incidentally, is the time between a child’s birth and starting school.  

Over eighty community groups across Australia are reaping the benefits right now. Passing on children’s literacy to the next generation.

AEDC analysis shows that children are three times as likely to start school ready to learn where there has been a strong PTTR presence for five or more years.

Group effort

Collaboration is encouraged between local agencies (e.g. schools, police, local governments, etc.) to run and host events. When everyone works together for the common good, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The impact is felt throughout the community.

We create an eco-system that is cost efficient, sustainable and community focused. Helping children arrive at school ready to learn.

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