EARLY childhood educators, kids and parents turned up to celebrate literacy at an event in Midland, which featured a colourful parade and fun activities.
For the fifth year in a row, The Paint the Swan REaD event, which was the first Paint the Town REaD program to launch in Western Australia, was held in Midland.
The program encourages communities and parents to get their children reading, talking, singing and rhyming to set a firm foundation before they go to school.
Author Linda Bennett read from her book Sammy the shadow master, which she is planning to turn into an animated feature.
Midland MLA Michelle Roberts, who awarded book prizes to some good listeners, said she fully supported the event.
Mrs Roberts said it encouraged one of the best habits that any child could develop and take into adulthood and that was reading.
She said the event helped children developmentally in so many ways but was also a great source of enjoyment for them.
The Big REaDING Day was held at the Cale St outdoor cinema area and the Midland Gate Shopping Centre.
Paint the Town REaD is an early literacy community scheme encouraging the whole community to read, talk, sing and rhyme with children from birth, so that they will be ready for reading and writing at school.
The program’s website said research showed early literacy skills developed before starting school were the foundation and therefore vital for attaining competency in reading and writing at school – and future success and happiness in life.
“These early literacy skills include attention, listening, language, awareness of sounds, symbols and alphabet, book-handling skills, drawing and shape copying,’’ the website said.
“First developed in the New South Wales town of Parkes in the 1990s, Paint the Town REaD now takes its message, ‘Read, talk, sing and rhyme with your child from birth’ across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and beyond.’’
One of the key features of Paint the Town REaD program is an annual community reading day engaging the whole community where young children are read to in their local shops by shop staff, celebrities, high School students and volunteers.
Second is year-round activities encouraging everyone to think smarter about how to include early literacy in all aspects of their life and work — from having a reading tent at the local markets to ‘Have you read with your child today?’ coasters in a local pub.