Local organisations plan to launch a 'Paint the Town REaD' literacy program with a new $30,000 grant.
The Rural City of Murray Bridge was awarded the funds through a Local Government Early Childhood Community Innovation Grant.
"Paint the Town REaD" is an early literacy community program that is run nationally to encourage communities to read, sing, talk, and play with children from birth.
The program aims to develop skills children would need when learning to read and write.
Starting later this year, an egg will begin visiting local kindergartens, childcare centres, and community events, growing with each visit.
The egg will continue to grow until a Reading Day event early next year, when it will hatch into a mystery mascot.
"More than 20 per cent of Australian children arrive at school without the skills necessary to make the most of their education." said 'Paint the Town REaD' Executive Director Barbie Bates.
"In some communities, like the Rural City of Murray Bridge the figure is much higher. Research shows that no matter how good their subsequent teaching, these children can fall further and further behind.
"Paint the Town REaD works to overcome this by motivating communities across Australia to read with their children so they're ready to learn to read at school.
"Through the use of grant funding we will be able to establish the Paint the Town REaD program within the Rural City of Murray Bridge Council area, helping to increase the amount of reading undertaken by families in pre-school homes, improving the chances that these kids have during their schooling years and the years beyond," said Executive Director Bates.
The program will run until October 2023.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.