Ipswich Library Literacy Program Expands to Include Every Baby Born In Ipswich

Photo 1: Cr Kerry Silver, Cr Kylie Stoneman, Chair of Libraries David Pahlke, Larissa Kracht with baby Theo, Leanne Bain with baby Fletcher, Lady Mayoress Janet Pisasale, and Cr Charlie Pisasale

Photo 2: Chair of Libraries Cr David Pahlke, Mum Larissa Kracht and baby Theo, Anne Harris  President of Ipswich Foils, Mum Leanne Bain and baby Fletcher, and the Lady Mayoress Janet Pisasale.


Literacy program expands to every baby born in Ipswich. EVERY baby born in Ipswich will receive a literacy starter pack as an Australian-first program marks two major milestones. The Friends of Ipswich Libraries (FOILS) Books for Babies program has distributed more than 2,000 packs since its launch in 2007. The program moved to a full-year format in August after previously being held for one month a year to coincide with Children’s Book Week.

Library and Youth and Seniors Committee Chairman Councillor David Pahlke said the change would help Ipswich’s newest residents build a foundation for literacy and learning from birth. “To the best of our knowledge this is the first program of its kind to be fully funded at a local government level in Australia,” he said. “There are state-funded programs in South and Western Australia, while Parkes in New South Wales has been running a community-funded program intermittently since the late 1990s.” Cr Pahlke said the packs included a carry bag, illustrated board book, It’s Rhyme Time booklet and DVD and information about the services and facilities available at Ipswich Libraries.

“We want to help our future generations learn to love language and literacy and it’s very much a united approach across the city,” he said. “Ipswich Hospital and St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital with CEO Christine Went are vital partners in the ongoing success of this program and they are to be congratulated for their commitment to this initiative over the past decade. “We also have some wonderful FOILS volunteers, led by president Anne Harris, who take time out to visit the hospitals and spread the word about the joys of reading.”

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