Book Week helps little learners dream big

Book Week is about so much more than the costumes – particularly in those early years. Rebecca Davis reports.

Students in dress ups. Students in dress ups.
Image: The smiling faces of children celebrating Book Week was a welcome sight across early childhood education and care services in NSW.

The sheer joy and excitement of young children as they entered Goodstart Ashmont dressed up with their favourite book in hand is a memory Early Childhood Educator Viviane Guy will always cherish.

“We have observed a diverse range of characters from Spot the dog to superheroes. It has been wonderful to see how many children have participated this year,” she said.

Even the educators joined in, swapping their uniforms for Care Bear attire on Thursday.

Ms Guy said this year’s Book Week theme ‘read, grow, inspire’ captured what she loves most about the event run by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

“The creativity and imagination of the children really comes alive,” she said.

“Words and pictures inspire big dreams and influence their outlook on their world in a positive way.”

Ms Guy said Book Week was far from a “tokenistic event” for the centre.

“We celebrate the relationship between literacy and children each day as it supports, strengthens, and enhances rich diversity in our learning programs,” she said.

“As educators we are aware of the deep connection a child can have through connecting with literature.”

Ms Guy said it was important children learned that books go beyond the characters inside.

“The front cover depicts the story inside. The spine supports all pages of a book to be bound together,” she said.

“We also discuss the author and illustrator and the important roles they have in bringing a book to life.”

The benefits of reading and storytelling from such a young age are many.

“Books help children to understand the world and expose them to new concepts and experiences,” Ms Guy said.

They stimulate the imagination and can lead to new play ideas, dreams and aspirations.

“They have an enormously positive impact upon language development: they expose children to more complex vocabulary, more complex sentence structures, language relating to different times and places, and helps them learn the structure of a story which assists them to share events with others, understand other stories and experiences, and build relationships.”

Teachers in dress ups. Teachers in dress ups.
Image: Book Week fever even hit educators, with staff at Goodstart Ashmont dressing up as Care Bears.

The number and variety of books in Goodstart Ashmont’s library is about to grow, thanks to the NSW Department of Education’s Quality and Participation Grants Program.

The service was successful in securing funding through the program to continue embedding Aboriginal culture and perspectives.

“We believe it is important to meaningfully embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and traditional stories in our everyday practice, to promote and enhance cultural awareness and inclusion to build on trust and respect within our centres, our families and our local Indigenous communities,” Ms Guy said.

The Quality and Participation Grants Program supports services to improve learning environments and increase participation and access for NSW families through targeted and tailored initiatives.

Eligible services could apply for up to $17,500 for initiatives to improve quality learning environments and increase participation and access for children from low-income families, Aboriginal children and culturally linguistically diverse children.

For more information about the Quality and Participation Grants Program, call 1800 619 113 or email

Students and a teacher dressed up. Students and a teacher dressed up.
Image: Goodstart Ashmont has expanded its library to include more books about Aboriginal culture.
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