123 Read 2 Me

Written on the 22 October 2015

20 October 2015



GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)


My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Families and Children.

Recently I met with a group of committed individuals who are all working toward improving literacy among some of the most disadvantaged children in our community. Melinda Shelley, along with her husband, Jeff, has been working on a Lions Club project, 123Read2Me, which it hopes will be 'Changing the future, one book at a time'.

I met with Melinda, Jeff and two academics from the faculty of education at Monash University, Dr David Zyngier and Dr Denise Chapman. This group presented to me a draft proposal for:

Building community capacity by enhancing educational opportunity for children from 'communities of promise' through early intervention in literacy practices.


In their draft proposal discussion paper they highlight that:

Children who have been read to for just 10 minutes a day from birth will have heard the equivalent of 3 million words by the time they start school. By age 3 economically advantaged children know 1100 words, with economically disadvantaged children knowing only 500 words.

The program this group is presenting will expose our youngest children and their parents to the joys and techniques of effective reading. They would like to undertake an important pilot project that would involve students from Monash University at Frankston reading to vulnerable children in Frankston North, Carrum Downs and surrounding areas.

As I said, the group has put together a proposal and some costings, and it has outlined a budget that I believe it wants to speak to the government about.

A one-year pilot program has been budgeted for in this proposal, but Melinda and Jeff are stating that there will be more benefit from a three-year program, which would follow children through the kinder, preschool and primary school environments.

My request of the minister is that she meet with the group that has put this proposal together and commit to funding this innovative and important pilot program so that it gets off the ground and sees these students participate. They are some of our most disadvantaged children, as I stated at the outset of my contribution.

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