In 2006, The Little Big Book Club was established in response to information released by the Bureau of Statistics that only 4 in 10 families were regularly reading to their children. Research into early childhood development has concluded that 90 percent of child’s brain development occurs in the first five years and how families engage with their child in these early years is crucial.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics states the reason why parents were not regularly reading with their child/ren include:
- did not know what to read at the appropriate ages
- reading is a nice thing to do however, not essential and could wait till formal education
- time poor
As an organisation, we have the privilege of reaching every family in South Australia who has a child under the age of five years. The ongoing challenge is sharing our knowledge with families so they understand their role as first teacher and the significant impact positive parenting can have on their child’s developmental outcomes.
In developing The Little Big Book Club program, we consulted closely with the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development, the Public Library Service and Speech Pathology Australia. We also, undertook a comprehensive scan of local and international early childhood reading development initiatives.
The outcome was the establishment of a multi-layered early childhood reading development program consisting of:
FREE Reading packs
Each year 63,000 FREE reading packs are provided to families across South Australia. The reading packs are divided into three age brackets; baby, toddler and preschool.
Every pack contains a selection of commissioned picture and board books, nursery rhyme books and CDs, activity books and information booklets.
The 63,000 reading packs are distributed through a range of stakeholders including:
Child and Family Health, Department of Education and Child Development, Health SA, outreach services, hospitals and family intervention programs.
The Features Stories project is to guide and educate families and the early childhood sector on what books to read at what ages. Every month the LBBC team review and select a book for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The three selected titles are supported with education resources including activity time sheets and learning time sheets.
The Little Big Book Club website currently hosts over 500 titles reviewed and selected by the LBBC team. Each title is catalogued under their appropriate age and theme.
Read to Me
Our newest project, Read to Me, was launched in 2015. This project would not have eventuated without the support of our founding partners, The Advertiser and the Government of South Australia and two new partners, Variety SA and Cochrane’s Transport.
The Read to Me project supports our state’s most vulnerable children who are in foster, residential or kinship care. Each child receives a start-up library of ten books and then every three months an additional three picture or board books. The giving of these books and resources will continue for each child until they reach the age of six years.
Marketing and Communication
A comprehensive marketing and communication strategy underpins all our activities allowing families and the early childhood sector easy access to our information, projects and their resources.
Our activities include:
Traditional media – print, TV and radio
Social media – Facebook pages, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube channel, website
E-marketing – direct marketing to national database
For more information on The Little Big Book Club program, please check out our website or Facebook page or contact Belinda Spry, Director of Training and Outreach