The State Library Victoria is providing primary schools in need with free transport and access to its dedicated, tailor-made schools’ program, aiming to address Australia’s falling literacy rates by fostering a love of reading from a young age.
The Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter Education Program was made possible by a $2 million donation from Gandel Philanthropy.
It creates engaging, interactive and immersive learning experiences for students. They can also take part in special events with well-known Australian children’s authors and illustrators, along with workshops exploring critical literacy and the wonders of stories and book creation.
Almost one in six Victorian prep students start school vulnerable, or at risk, due to under-developed language and cognitive skills.
State Library Victoria CEO Kate Torney thanked Gandel Philanthropy for its vision and generosity in supporting the Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter Education Program.
“We know that a child’s enjoyment of reading has a huge impact on their educational success and the State Library, in partnership with Gandel Philanthropy, is pleased to further promote an early love of reading,” she said.
“When it comes to reading, Aussie kids are falling behind their peers internationally. The Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter Education Program breaks down the barriers to reading. It’s a simple but effective way to help boost literacy levels, which are essential to the health and prosperity of the next generation of Victorians.”
According to Chair and Trustee of Gandel Philanthropy John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel AC, the program is vital for kids in need.
“Showing children the magic they can find in books can be life-changing. We remember the joy that reading to our own kids brought and we want to extend that feeling to children who aren’t necessarily exposed to books at home,” they said.
“Early childhood development is something we are deeply passionate about. By providing opportunities for kids to learn in new and inspiring environments we know we can help build confidence, spark imaginations and ultimately enrich lives.”
The Pauline Gandel Children’s Quarter opened as part of the Library’s $88.1 million Vision 2020 redevelopment in December 2019.
For schools interested in taking part in the program, please click here.