FAMILIES across Australia will be encouraged to share books, songs and rhymes with their young children every day as part of the national Let's Read Early Literacy Campaign launched on Monday.
The program provides families and children with information and free books and other reading resources, a DVD with examples of how to read with children at various ages, and suggested reading lists.
Let's Read also provides training for community workers such as child health nurses, playgroup co-ordinators, social workers and librarians, to help them deliver the program in their community.It was originally developed by the Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.
The Murdoch Children's Research Institute partnered with The Smith Family to implement Let's Read across Australia.
Since 2005 the program has been delivered in 104 communities across Australia with over 200,000 children participating.
Education Minister Peter Garrett, who launched the campaign at the Lyons Early Childhood School in Canberra, said it was part of a suite of measures being undertaken to help Australia become one of the top five school systems in the world by 2025.
"The Gillard government knows how important it is to give young kids the gift of reading at an early age, which is why we've provided $1 million in funding for the Let's Read campaign," he said.
"Reading and writing are the building blocks of a great education."
The Let's Read campaign will use radio and online communications as well as community organisations to promote the work of the program and encourage families to get involved.