The success of Sunshine Coast Libraries' involvement in the First 5 Forever initiative to improve early literacy was celebrated at Coolum Library today.
With up to 90% of brain development happening in the first five years of life, First 5 Forever provides parents and caregivers with access to free resources to support them at a critical time.
Since 2015, Sunshine Coast Libraries has received $1 million in First 5 Forever funding from the Queensland Government which has been used to run 2360 programs and events with 426 community partners, and 68,443 attendees.
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch visited Coolum Library today (November 22) to join families taking part in a Storytime reading session.
Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the minister's visit was welcomed in light of the State Government's commitment to our region's youngsters.
"The First 5 Forever initiative is so important. It highlights the vital role parents and caregivers play as the first educator in their child's life," Cr McKay said.
"Sunshine Coast Libraries have already achieved a lot with the initial First 5 Forever funding.
"As well as our great programs, we launched 10 Story Seats across the region in an effort to embed literacy into outdoor areas that are traditionally used for play.
"It's wonderful to see our Sunshine Coast Libraries pushing the boundaries of traditional library spaces, and contributing to our council's vision to become Australia's most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.
"I'm excited to see what the Sunshine Coast Libraries has planned for the ongoing First 5 Forever funding, and commend the State Government for their continued commitment to such an important initiative."
The State Government has committed to providing $5 million to public libraries annually for its First 5 Forever initiative.
Minister Enoch said the Queensland Government invested $5 million annually in First 5 Forever to help give Queensland families and primary caregivers a literary foundation for children aged five and under.
"A statewide network of more than 320 public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres supports First 5 Forever which is delivered by the State Library of Queensland in partnership with local governments," she said.
Head to the First 5 Forever website for more details.
To find out what First 5 Forever activities are happening at your local library head to the Sunshine Coast Library website.