Your NNC: Blog
The power of community nurturing early learning literacy
Last month we held the joint birthday celebrations for Garranga Bumarri the pelican and Gadi the dog, the mascots for the Paint Inner West REaD early learning literacy program.
To help with school readiness, the initiative encourages a whole-of-community approach to read, talk, rhyme, sing, and draw with children from birth to five years of age.
Both Gadi and Garranga Bumarri love to read and enjoy attending local events and services to encourage and support reading, singing, and talking.
Making REaDing fun and accessible to all
Do you remember when you first learned to read? Perhaps you visited a local library with a parent for ‘Storytime’. Maybe you read your own read-a-long books at home. Or you may have taken part in a readathon.
But did you ever have a reading…egg?
On your travels through the Inner West, you might spot some brightly painted boxes.
Built and donated by TAFE students and Redfern Community Shed, the boxes are book swap sites, which are placed in shops, cafes, and medical centres across neighbourhoods for children to read wherever they go. In a similar vein to street libraries, the boxes allow children to borrow, take, or donate books.
To bring the program to life, each year, the Inner West group has a reading egg and the more it’s exposed to reading and singing, the bigger the egg gets. Through the power of reading, it hatches a reading mascot.
In 2017, the first egg hatched a pelican named Garranga Bumarri, which means ‘pelican’ in the area’s First Language. In 2022, a new egg was lovingly cared for, read and sung to, finally hatching a golden puppy. The children of the Paint Inner West REaD program named it Gadi, short for Gadigal, for the land on which we live, work and play.
The community strengthening concept focusses on disadvantaged groups with difficulty accessing reading materials, particularly those with children in their first 1,000 days of life. Connecting like-minded families fosters community support and, therefore, strong and resilient families.
Celebrating REaDing success
As a proud partner of the Paint Inner West REaD initiative, NNC held the joint birthday celebrations for its mascots, Garranga Bumarri and Gadi, in June at the Summer Hill Community Centre.
The day was organised in collaboration with Inner West Council, Sydney Local Health District, Connect Marrickville, Sing and Grow Music Therapy, Community & Cultural Connections Inc, 3 Bridges Community, and Bunnings.
Marrickville West Primary School Principal, Ms Ruth Bradfield-Ling, also joined the event for a special reading of ‘The Speedy Sloth’ by Rebecca Young to the children and carers. The story is the latest book scheduled in the program shared by all Paint the Town REaD groups across the country.
Alice Fennell, Community Development Coordinator at NNC says there were activities for the children, information and resources for families, and fun had by all.
“The event brought together a fantastic group of local families who had a great time dancing, painting, singing and reading,” she says. “The wonderful Principal of Marrickville West Primary School, Ms Bradfield-Ling, had the young ones hanging off her every word as she read the story of The Speedy Sloth.”
“All the children shouted and ran up to meet our mascots, Garranga Bumarri and Gadi, when they appeared at the end of the story! We couldn’t have had such a successful day without the work of Lindy from Connect Marrickville, as well as helpers Vivi, and parents from the local community,” says Fennell.
For more information about Paint Inner West REaD in Newtown or to consider hosting a box, please contact: email@example.com or call 0408 164 755.
If you'd like to
stay in touch:
Subscribe to our Mailing List