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Paint the Bridge Read: How an egg-citing literacy program will help local kids
Parents in Murray Bridge are being encouraged to talk, read, sing, rhyme and play with their children every day.
This sponsored post is brought to you by the Rural City of Murray Bridge.
A special little egg will arrive in Murray Bridge this week to help young children get the best possible start in life.
No-one is sure yet what kind of creature will hatch from the egg, which will make its first appearance at Murray Bridge Library on Friday morning.
All we know is that talking, reading, singing, rhyming and playing will make it get bigger.
Over the next few months, it will visit children at local kindergartens, childcare centres and events as part of a program called Paint the Bridge Read.
Why is encouraging children’s literacy so important?
“More than 20 per cent of Australian children arrive at school without the skills necessary to make the most of their education,” said occupational therapist Barbie Bates.
“In some communities, like the Rural City of Murray Bridge, the number is much higher.”
Children who struggle to communicate are more likely to have trouble with literacy, employment, health and wellbeing down the track, no matter how dedicated their teachers are.
On the flip side, reading together every day can set children on the path to a better life.
“Increasing the amount of reading undertaken by families in preschool homes (will improve) the chances that these kids have during their schooling years and the years beyond,” Ms Bates said.
The egg – and the mascot expected to hatch out of it early next year – will help with that.
The Paint the Bridge Read program is a partnership between the Murray Bridge council, Murray Bridge Library, Tinyeri Children’s Centre, the state Department of Human Services, Murray Bridge Community Centre and AC Care’s Communities for Children program, funded by a $30,000 grant from the state Department for Education and Local Government Association of South Australia.
It is a local version of Paint the Town Read, a national initiative started by a school principal in Parkes, New South Wales in the 1990s.
Meet the egg: Visit Murray Bridge Library from 10.30-11.30am this Friday for story time with SA Police.
Have your say on what sort of mascot should hatch from the egg: Visit letstalk.murraybridge.sa.gov.au.
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