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Book swap initiative encourages reading at home


Families and children are being encouraged to read together at home as part of a new initiative launched in playgroups at Catholic schools around the State.

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In partnership with Paint the Town REaD, Catholic Education SA (CESA) has established the Paint Playgroups REaD program which is promoting the importance of people reading with their children from birth, so they can start school ‘ready to learn’.

To support the program, the Book Swap Box Project was unveiled in March and is being rolled out in CESA’s 60 supported playgroups.

Boxes filled with books are being made available at each location, with families invited to take a book home to read with their child.

“We want every child to have access to books at home no matter what their individual situation in life may be,” said Emily Bowden, Early Years consultant with CESA.

“Research shows that our brains do most of their critical development in the first three years of life and that every time we read, talk, sing, and rhyme with children, brain connections grow, and foundations for learning are built.

“Therefore, it is crucial that opportunities are provided for children to be read to and to engage with books within the first three years of life to improve their literacy skills.”

Ms Bowden said already more than 1000 new and pre-loved books had been donated for the swap boxes.

“We would particularly like to acknowledge our friends at Raising Literacy Australia and the Mitcham Library for their generous donations,” she added.

CESA’s supported playgroups cater for more than 1600 children and 1200 families. One of the well-attended playgroups is at St Augustine’s Parish School at Salisbury, which welcomed CESA director Neil McGoran on March 21.


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