Mount Gambier Children’s Centre students have received their final books for 2023 at a Books in Homes finale event held at the Mount Gambier Library.
Books in Homes is a charitable foundation that provides books-of-choice to children living in remote, disadvantaged and low socio-economic circumstances, ensuring crucial early literacy engagement and the development of reading skills needed for lifelong achievement.
As part of the initiative, each child selects nine new books they would like to have at home, creating a personalised library of their very own.
Mount Gambier Children’s Centre Director Kath Salmon said the children involved have developed a sense of autonomy, value and belonging by selecting their own books.
“The children really enjoyed being able to choose which books they would like to take home and would excitedly share with educators and their peers which books they enjoyed, often retelling the stories at kindy,” Ms Salmon said.
The books in homes program is a fantastic initiative that allows children to share in the joy of reading with their families. - Mount Gambier Children’s Centre Director Kath Salmon
“It has also been a really positive attraction towards books in general. When asked to read a book; children are more often responding positively to this encouragement, now knowing they actually can.”
For the past nine years the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier and generous community member Julian Mattay in partnership with Mount Gambier Library and the Department of Education and Child Development have provided $34,965 to the program which has purchased 4,979 books for 1,310 local children.
Since 2019, Julian Mattay has personally donated more than $16,000, providing 2,504 books to 678 families to keep the program running locally.
“I am passionate about books and one of my first memories is reading when I was very young. It is so important for young ones to read and to encourage them to get off tablets and phones,“ Mr Mattay said.
“I am happy to do this as it is great to see their smiles when they receive all their books.”
Library Manager Georgina Davison and her team are thrilled to help children create their own home library.
“We are so proud to facilitate this program, it has such wonderful outcomes for families – especially the children. Fostering the love of reading is so important for a child’s development and the earlier we can do this the better,”
“Julian’s contribution as an individual to support this program is absolutely outstanding and we really appreciate him.”
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 0413 798 327 or firstname.lastname@example.org