Better Beginnings

View from the State Library

Recently, Rachel went to a training day with ‘Better Beginnings’ similar to Book Start, its an initiative aimed at birth to 3 years and their families, co ordinated by the State library of Western Australia with an independent evaluation by Edith Cowan university. Distributing community kits and books to remote and diadvantaged communities, as well as free electronic books via the internet, the scheme as successfully been running since 2005.

The professional training day centred around ‘Making Books Making Readers’, with Victoria Ryle from Kids Own Publishing, Melbourne who runs ‘We Publish’ to facilitate communities making books together. Every copy of the boooks made are held in the State Library and housed in a special Book Cubby.

The training day explored how making books helps to make strong readers by building self esteem, confidence and a sense of ownership. examples were shown of books made by very young children with their parents using playful creativity for themselves and everyone to enjoy. we also explored how to respond to a theme chosen by a family to produce a simple folded book.

The creative process of collage and drawing to make a simple ‘Hotdog’ book,  can engage on many levels, with themes such as bi-lingual text, enviromental concerns, fathers and children for example, it gives an opportunity for the participants to express their creativity and ideas, and thoughts, then share with the community.

Rachel is very excited to be working as an artist and creative consultant with Sue North, Margaret Robson Kett and the Better Beginnings team in WA to develop new creative initiatives with the Imaginary Leaps Early Years framework, to stimulate language and literacy in the book making with communities across libraries state wide.

For further information –

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