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Home-made library bags are a hit at Goodstart Bowen

Goodstart centres

Making library bags, borrowing books from an in-centre library, and storytelling and role-playing are all new initiatives the children are enjoying at Goodstart Bowen.

Determined to encourage families and their children to enjoy reading together, the centre educators have attended First 5 Forever reading workshops and brought their ideas back to the toddler and kindergarten rooms.

Centre director Tracey Chrzanowski she was keen to come up with different ways to get parents involved in their children’s reading and literacy.

Research shows an important determinant for a child’s success at school is how much they are exposed to reading from a young age.

Goodstart early childhood educator Lisa Palethorpe says reading with children at any age, earlier the better, is the key to success.

“In the first five years, a child’s brain is developing rapidly and at a faster rate than at any other time of their life. Reading to your child and then teaching them to read promotes healthy brain development that lasts a life-time,” Ms Palethorpe said.

Ms Chrzanowski said the in-centre library now housed about 50 books which had been donated by parents and bought from local second-hand shops.

“And on Thursday, we’re visiting the local library to get our own library cards – something the children are very excited about,” Ms Chrzanowski said.

“The library also holds mother and baby reading sessions so our toddlers are going down there to take part which they have really embraced.”

Within the Bowen centre, the children have so far held a storytelling session, making masks and role-playing in the garden.

“This helps bring books to life for the children and encourages parents to recognise how important reading to their children is.”

Meanwhile, educator Shannon Kelly has sourced white pillowcases for the kindergarten children to make their own book bags.

“We’re making them with the children so they get to choose their own designs, giving them a sense of ownership and pride in their work,” Ms Kelly said.

“I really love to read myself and consider it such an important aspect of literacy and language.”

The Bowen children’s favourite books so far include We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and The Cocky, the Crow and the Hawk by Bridget Matingali and Christine Nicholls.
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