Paint the Town REaD works to motivate communities across Australia to read, talk, sing and rhyme with children so that they’re ready to learn to read and write at school.
The reason for this is clear. More than 20% of Australian children arrive at school lacking the skills necessary to make the most of their early education. In some communities the figure is much higher. Research shows that no matter how good their subsequent teaching, these children can fall further and further behind. They may struggle with literacy, employment, health and happiness for the rest of their lives.
We partner with local governments to form Paint the Town REaD groups in their communities. Groups organise their own year-round events, culminating in annual Reading Days that bring whole communities together around our message: ‘Read, talk, sing and rhyme with your child from birth’.
Paint the Town REaD activities are benefiting children in well over thirty communities, including local government areas, across Australia.
Local Paint the Town REaD groups are all different, but they have the same central focus, which is to creatively encourage their local communities to:
- hold Annual Reading Days at local shops, and
- think smarter throughout the year about how to include early literacy in all activities.
As an example, an organisation may historically have run a children’s activity at a local festival. They now make sure that children’s activity is literacy focused, through activities such as storybook making.
As the Paint the Town REaD groups are local entities, they reflect the strengths and interests of their communities, so are structured accordingly. They are usually driven by collaborative groups of champions; partnerships, for example, between local school principals, councils and NGOs, community health staff, librarians and directors of early childhood centres.
In Western Sydney, Local Government Areas (LGAs) each have LGA wide steering groups, and set up sub groups as opportunities for creative activities arise. Western Sydney co-ordinators also meet quarterly to formulate and share ideas.
Want to help change your community for the better? Contact us and we’ll get you started.