An unbearably cute HBNC initiative just got a welcome boost thanks to Fraser Coast Libraries.

The wonderful libraries team donated 600 books to the Read Bears program, meaning Fraser Coast students will now receive a new favourite book alongside their cuddly new friend.

Read Bears is a children's literacy program, aimed at building a lifelong love of reading.

This much-loved (and very cute) project has proven effective in increasing children’s reading skills, language skills, self-confidence and well-being.  
Each child in the program (aged 6 to 7) receives a hand-made, donated Read Bear, with a nametag to personalise. The bears are brought home and the children are encouraged to read to their new ‘friend’ every weeknight. The bears provide children with motivation to read and the opportunity for self-directed learning. The initiative also aims to encourage parents and siblings to be involved in the reading process alongside the child at home.

The books, donated by Fraser Coast Libraries, will be packaged up with the bears in Read Bear Bundles, which will be sent to five Fraser Coast schools.

Each child in the program, aged 6 to 7, receives a hand-made, donated Read Bear with a nametag to personalise. All of the Read Bears are lovingly hand-crafted by dedicated volunteers. The Read Bears for our 2023 program have been hand knitted by the Fraser Coast Artslink Creative Crafters Group with a community grant from the Hervey Bay RSL. The bears provide children with motivation to read and the opportunity for self-directed learning.

The Read Bear Bundles are individually-packaged and include a book and an information pack for parents, making it easy for families to get involved.

We are delighted by the support we have received from Fraser Coast Libraries, as part of the First 5 Forever initiative, which highlights the critical importance of a child's first five years of brain development.

The Read Bears program has already proven to be successful in improving children's language skills, self-confidence, and overall well-being.

Teachers and parents have praised the positive impact the program has had on young people, who are eager to read to their bears.

With the help of Fraser Coast Libraries, the program continues to make a positive impact on young readers in the community, fostering a lifelong love for learning and literacy.