From the desk of Di North
Preschool children in disadvantaged areas are sent a book through the mail each month until they turn 5 years old. Warrawong-Cringila was the first area targeted. The Warrawong-Cringila area has 143 children registered but they have just had 46 children graduate as they started school, so there is room for more enrolments.
Distribution to the Bellambi area was started in November 2015. A Rotary District Grant of $3,500 has just been received for the Bellambi area. $986.60 was received from the Illawarra Folk Festival. This was money from admission fees and also a raffle. Many thanks to all those people who attended the Folk festival and helped to contribute to this. Bellambi now has 33 children registered. They have enough funds for 50 children for 3 years.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that this program is really working. Kindergarten teachers have said that previous to this program children had started school in these areas and had never seen a book before. Parents say they enjoy the quality time spent with their children as they sit, cuddle and read them these books. It is creating goodwill in refugee groups as these people have never received anything free like this before. All the children love to receive something in the mail just for them each month.