Less than half read to chil­dren

Isis Town and Country - - News -

READ­ING is be­ing pro­moted in Childers as a re­sult of schools find­ing many new stu­dents are not pre­pared to start school.

Good­wood State School prin­ci­pal and state sec­re­tary of the Queens­land As­so­ci­a­tion of State School Prin­ci­pals Steve Cole­man said it was plac­ing a huge bur­den on Good­wood and other schools in the re­gion.

Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett said one in four Queens­land chil­dren did not know enough words when they started school.

“And sadly, many never catch up,” he said.

As a re­sult, the State Gov­ern­ment has launched a $20 mil­lion Best Start ini­tia­tive de­signed to give Queens­land fam­i­lies in­for­ma­tion, skills and tools to help their chil­dren de­velop early lan­guage and lit­er­acy at home.

Mr Ben­nett said the Best Start ini­tia­tive would be­gin in Jan­uary.

It fea­tures a lit­er­acy tool­kit for par­ents and read­ing ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing a fund­ing boost to pub­lic li­brary pro­grams.

He said re­search showed that learn­ing to read was the sin­gle most im­por­tant fac­tor in school suc­cess.

How­ever, only 48% of Queens­land par­ents were read­ing reg­u­larly to their three- to eight-year-olds.

Mr Ben­nett said he un­der­stood busy work­ing mums and dads were “time poor”, but he said even 10 min­utes of read­ing a day could make all the dif­fer­ence.

PHOTO: MIKE KNOTT BUN190914STE2

BOOST LIT­ER­ACY: Good­wood State School prin­ci­pal Steve Cole­man with Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett.

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