Workplaces within Greater Shepparton are encouraged to host a morning tea for staff and collect gold coin donations for the local book bag program.
An initiative of the Greater Shepparton Early Years Language Workgroups, ‘‘A Cuppa 4 Our Kids’’ will run throughout August.
A spokesperson from Greater Shepparton City Council said the Best Start Book Bag program provided a book bag full of early literacy resources to babies and children aged four weeks, eight months, 18 months and three and a half years through their Maternal and Child Health nurse.
‘‘This is the seventh year ‘A Cuppa 4 Our Kids’ has been held, with support for the program continuing to grow,’’ the spokesperson said.
‘‘Workplaces, including primary schools, childcare centres, banks, milk bars and family support agencies, are increasingly getting on board.’’
The early years language workgroup hoped to top the 30 registrations that were made last year.
Council’s manager of children and youth services Sally Rose said the book bag program was an important local program.
‘‘By providing these book bags we hope to encourage parents and carers to be reading to their children right from birth, and that they understand the importance of early reading and language development,’’ she said.
‘‘Last year over 2500 book bags were distributed to children through the Greater Shepparton Maternal and Child Health service and local family support services.
‘‘The bags include a story book, nursery rhyme and activity sheets, parent information booklet and library information.
Ms Rose said that every dollar counted.
‘‘Whether you are able to raise $10 from your morning tea event or $100, it all goes towards ensuring children receive their four book bags,’’ she said.
The book bag program has been operating for more than 12 years and now relies solely on donations from the local community and funding bodies to continue.
■If you would like to register your workplace for ‘‘A Cuppa 4 Our Kids’’ and hold a morning tea event during the month of August, phone Best Start administration officer Rebekah Mackin on (03)58329782 or email [email protected]
vic.gov.au for a ‘‘A Cuppa 4 Our Kids’’ information package.