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Pyjama Angels boost library loans
2 March 2012
Hundreds of children will have a love of reading and going to the library thanks to Pyjama Angels armed with new Reach for Reading kits from Fraser Coast Libraries.
Pyjama Angels are Pyjama Foundation volunteers who visit children in foster care across the Fraser Coast.
Statistics indicate that 92% of children in care are below the average reading level for their age.
The Reach for Reading project aims to break the cycle of disadvantage for foster children and their families by arming them with improved literacy skills and encouraging a life-long love of reading and involvement with public libraries.
Children and young adults of all ages are being tempted to read with these kits that contain books, toys, games and DVDs put together by Fraser Coast Libraries which are used by Pyjama Angels such as Carol Hall.
Carol spends at least an hour a week each with two 10-year-old boys to help them hone their reading skills.
“I have been reading and playing games with two boys since they were eight and the changes have been fantastic,” Ms Hall said.
Carol became a Pyjama Angel because she wanted to do something with children “especially kids who have been given a rough start.
“Childhood is the best time of life and the kids give you so much back,” she said.
The Reach for Reading project was developed by Fraser Coast Libraries with the help of a $25,000 Expanding Horizon Grant for Family Literacy from the State Library of Queensland. The Fraser Coast Regional Council also invested $15,500 from its collection development funds to buy resources for the kits.
“We have developed 80 specialist family literacy kits that are culturally appropriate and themed around topics that a wide variety of children will find engaging,” Fraser Coast Regional Council Community Librarian Lou Collings said.
“The kits are also available to other groups in the community or families wanting to encourage their children to read and develop better literacy skills.”
The Reach for Reading project is one of a number of programs being undertaken by Fraser Coast Libraries to promote the National Year of Reading 2012 which is all about children learning to read and keen readers finding new sources of inspiration. It’s about people discovering and rediscovering the magic of books. Most of all it’s about Australia becoming a nation of readers.