Lifting literacy for our youth

GLADSTONE is one chapter closer to improving the literacy of young people in the region, with the launch of a project.

The venture will improve the skills of childcare educators and establish a volunteer literacy mentoring program for children in foster care.

Launched by The Pyjama Foundation founder and 2009 Australian of the Year Bronwyn Sheehan, the Gladstone Reads project was made possible through a partnership between the foundation, Rio Tinto Alcan and the Gladstone Region Communities for Children.

"The aim of Gladstone Reads is to improve literacy outcomes for children in the Gladstone region," Ms Sheehan said.

One driver of the project was the results of the 2010 Australian Early Development Index, which revealed the literacy skills of children in our region were alarmingly lower than the national average.

Almost 38 per cent of Gladstone children have lower than average language and cognitive skills, which is 15 per cent higher than the Australian average.

"We are confident the literacy training program pilot we are running with childcare educators at ABC Childcare Kin Kora, coupled with the Pyjama Angels mentoring program for children in foster care, will go a long way to achieving our aim," she said.



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