Read4Life is a community-based program to build awareness and understanding of the importance of language and words to children under the age of five. Here you'll find a collection of resources to help you build reading with children into your daily life and suggestions for ways to introduce reading into the family.
Why read to children from birth?
Your role as a parent is a special one. Giving your children the best start in life is a top priority. Reading to your children and singing them nursery rhymes from birth gives them the best chance to develop important skills in language and to feel confident with words.
Later on children need to be able to speak up for themselves and feel comfortable with books when they start their kindy and prep years.
For more research into this issue, please read Literacy in Early Childhood.
Why Queenslanders need to Read4Life?
Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data is collected nationally every three years and provides a snapshot of how children are developing by the time they reach school. Results of the 2012 indicated that a higher proportion of Queensland children are considered to be developmentally vulnerable on one or more aspects of development than the national average. Read more about the AEDC results and process.
What can I do?
Get to know your local library and start borrowing. Having a variety of books that suit your child's interests and age displayed prominently where they can reach them is the first step. If you're not sure what to pick – library staff are happy to help you.
Get into a regular reading pattern which suits your family – which could be a book at bedtime, or a book during an afternoon coffee break, or after dinner with dessert! Let the child guide you with what they would like to read at first and soon you'll be able to start making suggestions, but be prepared to read some favourites again and again.
For more reading ideas visit:
It's more than just books
Reading is part of our everyday lives and time spent reading with your child doesn't have to be a story at bedtime.
Show them the recipe that you are using to cook dinner, the manual you are using to service the lawnmower, read newspaper and magazine articles together, and point out the road signs and billboards while driving and explain what they mean – reading is everywhere and children soon learn how useful and exciting reading can be.
Nursery Rhymes and traditional songs with actions are also part of learning to hear, say and enjoy the feel of language. So, for example, having a regular song with each nappy change, or as part of a night time routine or just because you feel like it, is again giving your child a boost in the development of language as well as the gift of your attention.
But I don't like reading
Even if you're not a reader, this is an opportunity to give your child a head start in life and give them the benefits that come with being a regular reader and you get to choose how it fits in with your daily routine.
Remember, the way that you read with your child, is the way that they like it, because they like you.
The Read4Life program
Read4Life is now in its second year in the Queensland communities of Mackay and Moranbah.
Top Secret Storytellers Clubhouse
As part of the 2014 program Read4Life is proud to deliver this touring performance event to Mackay, Moranbah, Clermont and Cannonvale in September. For more information contact your local library in the region.
For more information regarding the program please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The following links will help you with ideas, resources and methods to make reading with your child easy and fun.
Reading with your child
Dads Read encourages fathers to invest in their child's future by choosing to read to them each day with lots of resources to help make this happen.
Summer Reading Club
This program encourages children and young people to discover great authors and illustrators of picture books, junior and young adult fiction and non-fiction.
Let's Read promotes reading with children from birth and supports important skills like naming letters and playing with word sounds.
Rhymes and songs
Can't remember nursery rhymes anymore? These webpages will remind you of old ones or teach you new ones. Forget a tune? Look it up on YouTube for an instant refresher.
Kid Spot – Nursery Rhyme lyrics
TumbleBooks lets you watch and listen to over 30 ebooks online. Free access available to Queensland residents with a State Library of Queensland membership card, or visit a Queensland public library.
Read with me Ebooks
Read With Me EBooks is a free online reading program designed to help parents and teachers assist early literacy skill development in children
We Give Books
High quality fiction and non fiction books for all ages available to read online like a real book. Simple free login to join up.
Things to do in the car
For many children, the place where they spend a lot of time with their parents is in the car. In our busy lives – this is the perfect opportunity have some fun with language and reading, and you have a captive audience! So turn off the radio, and sing some nursery rhymes together, or sing along with rhymes on CD. There are plenty of children's CDs available and you'll easily find one that you all enjoy.
Car games are also a great idea - Just remember keeping your family safe is your highest priority, so please make sure that you only play these games if you have another person (an older sibling, other parent or friend) to play them, while you maintain focus on the road.
Download our printable car games sheet [PDF 260 KB]
For more games and printable sheets for car bingo visit RACV – Car Games for Kids
Where else can I get good ideas for reading with my child?
Your Local Library is always a good place to start. Find your nearest local library.
State Library is pleased to partner with BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal, Queensland Library Foundation and the Isaac and Mackay Regional Councils to deliver Read4Life.
Read4Life is supported by Australian Literacy Educators' Association, Department of Education Training and Employment and Central Queensland University.