First 5 Forever Gives Ipswich Kids a Great Start

31 January 2020

The Palaszczuk Government announced $8,907 for Ipswich City Council to present First 5 Forever early literacy programs.

Member for Ipswich, Jennifer Howard said the First 5 Forever program provides strong early literacy foundations for Queensland children aged 0-5 through public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres.

“Ipswich City Council will offer Dive into Books in connection to Laurie Lawrence’s Kids Alive water safety program.

“This collaborative project uses story time sessions at a local pool to produce a video and online resource showing the power of stories, songs, and rhymes,” she said.

Member for Ipswich West, Jim Madden said the funding will support children and families.

“The video will feature important health and well-being messages, including water safety and will be used by Laurie Lawrence’s Kids Alive – Do the Five water safety program as a model for early years’ educators,” he said.

Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch said councils will share in $347,465 in grants as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $20 million commitment to deliver the First 5 Forever program. 

 “First 5 Forever Innovation Grants totalling $284,465 will go to 18 councils for innovative and flexible projects delivered through their local libraries that support the development of language and literacy skills in babies and young children,” Ms Enoch said.

“An additional $63,000 will be distributed among five councils this year to support Community Literacy Champions to raise local awareness of the importance of early literacy and encourage families of children aged 0-5 to connect with library services.”

“The First 5 Forever program, coordinated by the State Library of Queensland, recognises the importance of literacy and language development in the first five years of a child’s life and provides families with information, resources and support to encourage them to talk, read, sing and play with children from birth.

“Since launching in 2015, First 5 Forever activities have attracted more than 2.5 million attendances in public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres across the state, contributing to the Queensland Government objective to give all our children a great start,” she said.

Ipswich City Council’s Acting Manager, Libraries and Customer Services, Matt Pascoe said he is excited to offer the new program to local families.

“We love thinking outside the box to offer parents and carers fun and free ways to support their child’s early literacy development,” he said.

State Librarian and Chief Executive Officer Vicki McDonald said the latest grant round demonstrated how councils were continuing to deliver innovative library services to their communities.

“It’s these creative approaches which help libraries ensure all families are welcome and receive free, inclusive support,” Ms McDonald said.

“State Library congratulates all grant recipients and is proud to work in partnership with more than 320 public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres across Queensland to advance early literacy and build a love of reading that lasts a lifetime.”  

Read more about First 5 Forever and tips for making learning fun or contact your local public library or Indigenous Knowledge Centre to find out more about their programs.