With 350 new picture books to read, it’s hard to know which to open first!

That’s the welcome dilemma facing local families after a community library was donated to Centacare South East by Raising Literacy Australia (RLA).

Our Family Connections program was one of 10 chosen from across the state to receive a library, bookcase and a folder of make and do activities.

The RLA community library initiative, run through the Little Big Book Club, aims to encourage young families to read, play, sing and talk with children aged 0-5.

“Books are quite costly and a luxury some families cannot afford, so having access to this library is going to have a huge impact on the early learning and speech development of children,’’ Centacare family worker Melissa Woolford said.

“Just opening and closing a book is beneficial for kids. Turning pages helps develop fine motor skills while reading with a parent or older sibling strengthens attachment.

“Nurturing a love of books at a young age will also mean children are more willing to read later in life, and that’s now more important than ever given today’s digital age.’’

The Family Connections team will initially take a selection of books to share at the North School Hub playgroup each week, and is planning a variety of other literacy-based activities during the year.

Family Connections provides young families with a direct pathway to key parenting support and early intervention services by taking help on the road to work in partnership with schools, services, children and their caregivers.

For more information, please phone Craig Wood at Centacare South East on 8724 0500.

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