A local language and literacy initiative has been recognised by Kiwanis International in its top 10 projects worldwide for 2019.
The Borrow Box Library program put together by Communities for Children in partnership with Bendigo Health and the Bendigo Kiwanis Club offers a free children’s book exchange with the aim of promoting literacy and the love of reading for children in the community.
It places libraries in community spaces, businesses, primary schools, early childhood services, health services, retail and shopping centres to support children’s access to books.
Children can read and take home a book, swap and return books for free.
Bendigo Communities for Children project manager Melissa Rockes said the libraries are one part of Bendigo Health’s language and literacy project.
“All involved have been thrilled with the community interest and requests for boxes by services and businesses,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the City of Greater Bendigo scores below the state average for national minimum literacy standards at year three level, so we need a multi-pronged approach to supporting language development and literacy in the early years across the city.”
The book boxes are located in more than 70 locations across the city and a list of these can be found at bendigoreads.com.au/early-literacy-programs-in-bendigo