Fraser Coast Artslink volunteers have once again demonstrated their boundless creativity and generosity by crafting an astounding 650 knitted bears for HBNC’s beloved Read Bears program.

This heart-warming initiative aims to foster a love for reading among children aged 6 to 7, promoting literacy, language skills, and overall well-being.

The Read Bears program, known for its cuddly companionship and educational impact, has been a beacon of hope and learning in the community.

Each meticulously handmade bear, complete with a personalised nametag, becomes a cherished friend to its young recipient.

Encouraged to read to their furry buddies every weeknight, children find motivation, comfort, and joy in their new literary companions.

Tanya Stevenson, CEO of HBNC, expressed her gratitude for the unwavering support of Fraser Coast Artslink volunteers.

"The dedication of our volunteers is truly remarkable. Through their incredible efforts, they're not only providing children with adorable companions but also nurturing a love for reading that will last a lifetime,” Tanya said.

Artslink volunteers Annette Kitchener, Rea Greene, Jenny Campbell and Susan Erbacher with HBNC's Rowey Allen.

Annette Kitchener, one of the passionate Artslink volunteers, shared her enthusiasm for the project.

"Being part of the Read Bears program is a delight beyond words. Knowing that our hand-knitted bears will bring smiles and inspire young minds fills my heart with immense joy. It's amazing how something as simple as a bear can ignite a child's imagination and foster a lifelong love for reading,” Annette said.

The Read Bears program, with its playful approach to literacy, not only enhances children's reading skills but also encourages family involvement in the learning process.

Parents and siblings are encouraged to join in the reading sessions, fostering a supportive environment where literacy thrives.

The Fraser Coast Artslink volunteers' dedication exemplifies the power of community spirit and the profound impact of small acts of kindness.

As these 650 bears find their way into the arms of eager young readers, they carry with them the warmth, love, and joy of a community united in the pursuit of literacy and learning.

To support Read Bears, please consider donating online.

Donate to Read Bears