Make books accessible and promote reading at home

Holistic approach to early education and early learningYoung children benefit from a good reading program supported by quality books. At Oz Education, reading forms an important part of our early learning curriculum and our stimulating learning environment makes literacy resources easily accessible. We also encourage parents to continue reading to their children at home. Giving your child suitable books can encourage them to read with you or aloud. However, accessing quality books doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. Here are some organisations that are promoting childhood literacy by providing access to free kids books.

BigW’s Free Kids Books Program is giving away 3.7 million books across a 12-week period, commencing 21 February. No purchases are required. All you have to do is step into your local BigW store for the next 12 weeks to collect all the 12 different beloved children’s titles that they are giving for free to every child each week.

The selected titles are perfect for reading out loud, and will appeal to children between the ages of 6 months to 6 years old. All 12 books are published by Scholastic Australia, whose recent report revealed that 86 per cent of Australian kids enjoy being read to at home. No purchases required. You may want to hurry as the free kids books are available in store only while stocks last.

Your local library is a good place to find suitable free kids books for children age 6 weeks to 6 years old, as they offer a variety of interesting titles.

Local Street librares is another easy way for your child to access free kids books right at their front yard. The initiative which started in 2016, has blossomed in many neighbourhoods across Sydney.

You may try asking around if your neighbourhood has a street library, if not, you could start one. A street library allows children living close by to share and borrow books in a ‘book library box’ which resembles a mail box, and return them any time without fines nor a need for a library card.

You’ll need to invest some time and resources into planning and designing your street library box. Once your box is completed and up, drop in some books in to your street library box, spread the word around your neighbourhood and you’re all set.

Non-profit organisations like Project Gutenberg and this online library offer a wide range of downloadable eBooks. If you have an eBook like Amazon Kindle, you could also access free reading material online, although screen time for a young child should be supervised. The best approach to encourage reading at home is to read with your child or have them read aloud to you.