Libraries launch push to boost Coast kids’ school results
  • Wednesday 03 February 2010

With the Australian Government’s recent launch of a system to rank public schools, Sunshine Coast Council has announced its latest initiative to encourage young children to become library members – thus enhancing their educational outcomes.

A recent study indicated that 82 per cent of parents say they wish their child would read more books for fun.

With this in mind, council has introduced a library card especially for kids – and already school principals are taking up the initiative.

Ross Duncan, Manager of Council’s Learning Communities Branch, said the Kids Only Card campaign would target Prep to Year 2 children, recognising that reading is at the heart of every child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and beyond.

“The Kids Only Card campaign aims to put a library card in the hand of every student attending Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2,” Mr Duncan said.

“By communicating with parents of these children through the primary schools, and continuing to run programmes such as storytelling and other activities, council is encouraging our children to make reading a habit.

“Council is serious about its role in making a significant investment in the future of our families and our region through the operation of its nine libraries and three mobile libraries.”

The card has been designed for children up to the age of 12, and includes a graphic from award-winning Australian author and illustrator of children’s books, Terry Denton.

Letters have been sent to all principals of local primary schools outlining the Kids Only campaign and parents will be asked whether they would like to enrol their children as members of council’s libraries.

International research has demonstrated the value of early childhood education, Mr Duncan said. Improved literacy rates have been linked with better self-esteem, higher achievements in education, higher wages and higher rates of home ownership in adults.

“This campaign is a great indicator of council’s commitment to work closely with other levels of government and local schools to maximise the educational outcomes for children on the Coast,” Mr Duncan said.

“The response to date has been fantastic, with principals of schools attended by more than 1100 students of this age group responding that they are keen to participate.

“We are confident that we can support principals, teachers and parents in educating the children of the region by continuing to provide high quality public library resources and facilities.”

For more information about Sunshine Coast Libraries go to http://www.library.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au