Paint the Gong REaD

 Tracey Kirk-Downey – Paint the Gong REaD Fri 21 August 15


Paint the Gong REaD is an early childhood literacy program that aims to promote reading, signing, talking and rhyming with all children from birth.

Children begin learning before birth and by engaging in literacy experiences with children continually throughout their lives we are giving them the best possible start to life. By reading to children from birth children’s early literacy skills begin to develop. These skills include children’s attention span, listening and language skills, symbol and alphabet recognition, handling books, drawing and copying shapes. Engaging in any form of literacy activity with a child can encourage their language and literacy skills and prepare them for school and the future. Ultimately, working with children using this early literacy development model boosts brain development and helps prepare them for reading and writing at school.

Reading with children encourages secure attachments between the adult and child, assisting in the child’s social and emotional development. Reading does not only involve reading the writing on the page. It involves looking at the pictures, discussing the story and encouraging children to create their own ideas and stories different or similar to ones they have read before. Additionally literacy activities such as reading assist children in learning conversational skills, turn taking and the correct way to view and respond to stories. It is important for children to be exposed to a range of literacy experiences from reading to writing, singing to rhyming and engaging in literacy themed games such as ‘I spy’. Literacy experiences do not necessarily have to be just reading stories; there are many everyday activities where children can be exposed to positive literacy experiences.

Another important aspect of Paint the Gong REaD is that it is based within the community. Numerous events are run all year round to engage all children and their families in many literacy based activities. Engaging the whole community helps to build capacity, thus creating an all-inclusive model that brings together families, carers and children. Some of the activities that occur across Wollongong to promote literacy to children include: story times with the mascot Bright Spark; Bright Spark visiting book fairs, libraries and early childhood events; reading tents at local events; and book boxes placed in public places around Wollongong.

For more information about the importance of reading to children please visit:

For additional tip sheets for reading please visit:

For information about reading events at your local library please visit: babies


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