Communities

Central Goldfields, Victoria

About the community

Located at the heart of Victoria, Central Goldfields Shire covers 1,532 square kilometres and has a population of just over 12,500 people. Maryborough is the shire’s major centre.

‘Go Goldfields’ is a local council project involving an alliance of key community organisations and service providers. The project aims to improve social, education and health outcomes for children, youth and families, with a major focus on improved literacy outcomes.

 

Central Goldfields and the Let's Read program

Our shire-wide Let’s Read project involves close collaboration between Go Goldfields, Maternal and Child Health Services, as well as the Maryborough library. To be launched at the end of April, 2014, the project will span a three year period whereby four age-appropriate books (plus associated support) will be given to babies and young children via their families at a range of key Maternal and Child Health visits.

Community stories

Children's Book Week

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We recently held a book gifting presentation at 4 Kinders, to help celebrate Children's Book Week. The week before the children were given a paper bag to decorate as their special 'book bag.' A selection of 3.5 year old books were gifted, accompanied by a visit from our local Library to do a Let's Read themed story time.

Parents were invited to the Let's Read book gifting, and children were very excited to bring a book and resource sheet home. It also raised awareness of the scheme with Kinder teachers.

The main benefits:

To deliver books to Kinder kids (this is our 3.5 year old stage gifting), to celebrate Children's Week, to raise awareness of our Let's Read program and to continue to support the Library connection with Kinders.

Lisa D'Onofrio, Literature Facilitator, Go Goldfields
 

July 2014

Staff at Maryborough Child and Maternal Heath are running weekly Lap Time sessions for parents and babies. The sessions include book time, where parents are encouraged to interact with their baby and share books, including books from the Let’s Read book list. Staff send out the clear message that it’s not about parents teaching their babies to read, but rather, developing an enjoyment for stories and books, which will help with learning later on at Kinder and School.

Parents have fun, meet other parents and learn how to share rhymes, stories and books with their babies. Staff at Child and Maternal Health are looking forward to the launch of Let’s Read next month, when they can begin to gift books and resources and spread positive literacy messages.

Launch, June 2014

Let’s Read, Central Goldfields Shire was launched on 10 June 2014 at the Maryborough Maternal and Child Health Centre.

The Let’s Read project for the Central Goldfields Shire is a Go Goldfields initiative delivered by the staff at Maryborough Maternal and Child Health. From now on families with babies and toddlers will receive free Let’s Read packs at their key Maternal and Child Health visits. In addition to this we have produced a pack for Newborns (because it is never too early to read with your child), which includes a black and white book, information, a gorgeous new library card especially for children, and a bib which has been kindly sponsored by True Foods, because we all know that reading is food for the brain!

The standing-room- only launch started with everyone able to have a look at what was in the packs and general agreement they are super! We had packaged the Let’s Read resources in brown paper bags (just right for decorating by little hands) and our special Newborn pack comes in its very own library bag.

We talked about the importance of sharing stories with babies and toddlers, and thanked our partners and sponsors for their continued commitment to fostering early years’ literacy across the Shire. The well attended launch demonstrated that the Shire is ready and eager to endorse this initiative.

The Lions Club handed over a cheque which will be used to pay for the 18 month packs, and we look forward to a strong partnership with them as the major literacy champions in our area.

The Mayor, another invaluable advocate of literacy, said a few words of encouragement and support, whilst the children at the launch raided the kitchen and ate the food for the afternoon tea. This of course is what it is all about!

Our special guests, apart from the parents and children, were the Maryborough Library Book staff  (with their van), who supplied children with library membership cards there and then.

We ended the celebration with what was left of the afternoon tea, and a stirring rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, as happy toddlers clutched their books close.

Story by Lisa D'Onofrio, Children's Literacy Facilitator, Central Goldfields Shire Council.

Key contact

Julie Gittus, Go Goldfields Children’s Literacy Facilitators.

E julieg@cgoldshire.vic.gov.au

P 0417303062

Lisa D’Onofrio, Go Goldfields, Children's Literacy Facilitator

E lisad@cgoldshire.vic.gov.au

P 0427455377