Book Week 2022: How we help develop children’s love for reading

An educator reading to a child

In Australia, Book Week is an opportunity to celebrate Australian children’s literature and promotes the value of books for the education, enjoyment, and enlightenment of children. Across the nation, children, educators and families are invited to participate in Book Week between the 20th and 26th August 2022. This will take a range of forms across the nation, with both in-centre and online experiences.

In order to incorporate the overlapping themes of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day (4 August), CBCA Book Week (20 – 26 August), as well as Indigenous Literacy Day (7 September) over the month, G8 Education’s early learning centres have incorporated the key ideas with an overall theme of “Dreaming of My Future.”

This theme nurtures children’s creativity and self-reflection. Throughout Book Week, children have the opportunity to participate in a range of experiences to celebrate books and learn about Australian authors and illustrators. Becoming familiar with the writing and artwork of both past and present authors and illustrators highlights their wonderful work and unique contribution to children’s literature.

Six recommended books from the CBCA Book Week Shortlist as well as contemporary texts with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives have been identified for 2022:

  • My Culture and Me
  • Our Home, Our Heartbeat
  • Walking on Gagadju Country
  • Walk of the Whales
  • Amira’s Suitcase
  • Finding our Hearts

Visit this link to learn more about the books selected, as well as recommended provocations.

To assist in this discovery, educators and teachers across the G8 network use this format when they design the children’s learning experience, enabling children to represent their own sky, land, dreams, future and themselves through a drawing.

A group of children reading books

Our educators and teachers also constantly reflect upon their existing practices and consider ways to continue to support children’s literacy learning in centre, as well as support families to build upon children’s learning at home.

As children’s first teachers, families are in an advantageous position to read to their child from birth and in turn positively influence their future educational outcomes. Establishing a regular reading routine enables families and children to form a love for sharing books together. When reading aloud, families form closer bonds and create a nurturing environment, fostering a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

What are some benefits of reading together with your child?

Fosters a love of reading

Reading with children nurtures a love of language and literacy. An association between caring adult interactions and books is developed from an early age. Children learn to appreciate reading as a time of enjoyment, relaxation and pleasure.

Strengthens relationships

Sitting and cuddling together with a book creates a relaxed, calm feeling where bonds are strengthened, and quality interactions occur. Open conversations relating to the story offer a platform to build positive relationships and encourage a sense of well-being.

Develops literacy skills

Reading develops new vocabulary, phonemic awareness, comprehension and concepts of print. Exploring features of language and literacy teaches children skills to support them in becoming proficient readers.

Supports language

Modelling language encourages children to utilise new vocabulary and conversational skills within their everyday interactions. Children will establish a connection between the spoken and written word.

Stimulates brain development

Between birth and three years is a critical time in the development of language skills. Early reading expands the linguistic structure in the brain and improves memory and concentration.

Develops new knowledge

Books are informative and open children’s minds to diverse people, places and situations. Both familiar and unfamiliar concepts across a range of different subjects can be explored through fiction and non-fiction books.

An educator reading to a child

Ways to develop children’s love of reading at home:

  • Make reading part of your everyday routine.
  • Ensure children have open access to books.
  • Connect with your local library. Many public libraries across Australia host story time evens for children of different age groups.
  • Immerse children in a literacy-rich environment, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Provide a comfortable, quiet place to read together.
  • Converse with children throughout the story with open-ended questions and descriptive language.
  • Aim to read at least three books per day (which equates to over 1000 a year)!