Ms JO HAYLEN (Summer Hill)—Paint the Town REaD in Marrickville teaches families, early childhood educators and communities the importance of literacy for growing minds. 90 percent of a child’s brain develops before the age of 5 and teaching kids reading a writing is essential to giving them the best start before school. I know it can hard in our hectic lives to read with our kids, but also how exciting it is to watch them learn a new word or write their own name. From cradle to kindergarten, Paint the Town REaD seeks to ensure kids have the necessary reading and literacy skills for starting school, no matter their backgrounds.

The program is part of a network of over 90 community organisations around Australia that seek to engage all areas of our community, to create an imaginative community approach to improving children’s literacy. I was thrilled to have joined Paint Marrickville Read and Marrickville Council earlier this year to launch 1 million kids reading initiative. Thank you to all the community volunteers at Paint the Town REaD Marrickville: you encourage us to take time to engage the brains and literacy of our little ones.