Poor childhood literacy rate sparks donation appeal

A PROGRAM designed to improve childhood literacy is calling for donations of $6 a month to continue teaching south-west preschoolers to read. 

More than 50 Glenelg Shire children are on the waiting list to receive a free monthly book as part of Uniting Way’s innovative early literacy program ReadLearnSucceed, with a shortfall in funding making it hard to sustain the growing enrolment numbers.

In partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Penguin Books and Portland Aluminium, United Way Glenelg will mail enrolled children an age appropriate book every month for the first five years of their life.

The program aims to target the alarming trend of Glenelg Shire students failing to complete year 12, with the 2012 Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) ranking the proportion of children living in the Glenelg Shire as some of the most vulnerable in all of the local government authorities in Victoria. The Adolescent Community Profiles show reading levels for year nine students in Glenelg are of particular concern.

Glenelg Shire Council mayor John Northcott said by giving up the cost of just one coffee a month, people could support the development of future leaders.

“Reading is the cornerstone to many opportunities we have in life,” Cr Northcott said.

“We want to ensure our children are given the resources they need to develop not only the skills needed for a good education but an interest in it as well.

“An investment in this program is an investment in the future of children living in Glenelg Shire.”

Pledge cards have been placed at a number of businesses to increase the support for Glenelg Shire, with Workplace Giving Program details available from mail@unitedwayglenelg.com.au

Regular donations can also be made using your credit card by visiting www.unitingwayglenelg.com.au and selecting the “how to give” tab.

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