Communities

Mildura, Victoria

About the community

Located on the Murray river in North West Victoria, the Mildura region is 550kms North West of Melbourne. More than 50,000 people call the region home including 28,000 who live in the Mildura township. The region’s strengths lie in its diversity and the range of friendly communities that make up the region. The key industries for the region are dryland farming, irrigated horticulture, tourism, food and beverage, manufacturing, transport and logistics, retail, health and community services.

Mildura and the Let's Read program

Let’s Read Mildura will provide book packs and reading support to families with children aged 0-5 years – there are approximately 700 births per year.  Practitioners and volunteers will be trained to work alongside families to develop a love of reading stories and to be engaged in story play.  Let’s Read Mildura is supported by a strong partnership and will value-add to the program by having pop up community story telling and Little Libraries in the community where both children and adults can come and swap books.  

Community stories

Let's Read has been a presence at the Sunraysia Community Market. We hope in the future to join forces with the Library to make it a bigger affair. The market is held every two weeks on a Saturday morning in JayCee Park which has access to a children's playground. It is very informal. Because Mildura is so hot, we find a shady part of the market, usually under a tree, and spread out a rug, with books for all ages to read and look at.   We also have chairs available for adults. 

We have a whiteboard and blackboard which children are encouraged to write and draw on.  It leads to many conversations. The children, usually with their parents, stop to talk, read or draw during the market. The parents seem appreciative of a place to stop, slow down or have a rest at the market. Let's Read caters for all age groups but we particularly aim for the younger children. The Let's Read coordinator, helpers or parents often read to the young child in a relaxed environment so that the activity becomes a fun activity that encourages literacy.

September 2018


"Little Libraries"

Some photos of the “Little Libraries” and the organizer, Kellie Coff.

“Little Libraries” is a partnership between Mildura Council, Let’s Read and the VCAL students at Mildura Senior College. One of our Let’s Read volunteers, Kellie Coff, has been the organizer.

The Council funded Mildura Senior College ( $6,000 ) to build and decorate 40 “Little Libraries” around the Sunraysia district. The students were involved in deciding where they were located. The Little Libraries will be full of books which can be read and/or borrowed, so collecting book donations will be a big part of the project. We have been thrilled with the response, and the collection will be ongoing.

The VCAL co-ordinator and teachers were very supportive.

Initially we spoke to the 5 classes of VCAL students who would be involved in the project. They were very enthusiastic. The students used their strengths - some of them built the “Little Libraries” and some decorated them. We organized  prizes for the best workers, the students having an input. 

As a result there was a launch on 26th June to which the students, all the VCAL teachers, Mallee Family Care and Let’s Read, the Mayor and any other interested or involved parties were invited. The VCAL students provided the morning tea.  Speeches were made by the VCAL co-ordinator, students and their Principal and the Mayor.  All were enthusiastic and thrilled by the project.

The project met all the criteria for VCAL and reports were written and photos taken. Everyone was amazed at the skills and motivation the students displayed and much was mentioned about this being a community project and how perhaps the children of the students may access the ”Little Libraries” in the future.

The Little Libraries will go to such places as Maternal Health Centres, Centrelink, Doctors and Dental surgeries and community organizations, such as the Aboriginal and Ethnic services.

Little Libraries go out into the community this week and we look forward to the response.

Jan Male -   Coordinator of Let’s Read in Mildura

 

Launch of Let's Read

The launch of the “Let’s Read“ program was held on Thursday, July 21st July, 2016, at Mildura Library. Children’s author, Ursula Dubosarsky, and illustrator Andrew Joyner were special guests. It was wonderful to see so many families with children aged 0-4 yrs present and engaging with Ursula and Andrew. Both presenters engaged children from the audience to participate in the reading and drawing from their books. You could see that both adults and children were enthralled by the presenter’s animated and engaging workshop. Thank you to both of them for their endorsement of the “Let’s Read “ program.

The Library provided a friendly, open space for the launch and a yummy lunch supplied from Tucker Time allowed for families, the Let’s Read team and presenters to continue their discussions

Fiona Harley OAM officially launched the program, which was enthusiastically received by everyone present and it was great to see Sandra Stewart, Koorie Education worker, formally provide the “Welcome to Country.”

The Mildura “Let’s Read” program has been made possible with funding from Mildura Rural City Council, Best Start, John T Reid Trust, ANZ Staff Foundation and Campbell Edwards Trust.

Ursula and Andrew at work

The library's fabulous "Let's Read" sign

OAM Fiona Harley introducing the program