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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 9951

Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (13:39): During the break, I attended Paint Parra REaD in Parramatta Mall, an event designed to encourage parents to read to their child every day from birth. The reading day was a free event organised by the Parramatta City Library and the Community Migrant Resource Centre with reading tents for young children. The program aims to raise awareness with local parents and carers about early literacy and the importance of reading to children from birth.

It was great to see the hardworking librarians from Parramatta Library out and about in the mall as well as Bilijana from the Community Migrant Resource Centre, whose work is always appreciated by all the children and their parents. Redsee the Readasaurus, in all his red glossary, made an appearance. He entertained the children and kept them company as they moved between the different reading tents.

We can never underestimate the power of literacy and reading, and I am so glad that events like these are available for free in my electorate of Parramatta. There are many people, of course, in my electorate whose young children are learning to read in more than one language: English and the language of their parents. It is particularly important for them and for all children that they begin that process of learning to read from day 1. You simply cannot replace the early years.

I read TheVery Hungry Caterpillar twice. Judging from the many food groups that he munched his way through, he was very well-named!