Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC) launched the local campaign in support of National Year of Reading 2012 at the Geelong Heritage Centre last night.
Community members and literacy advocates came together to learn more about this national campaign to improve community reading and literacy levels.
GRLC Chair, Cr Andy Richards, welcomed guests and said:
“National Year of Reading 2012 is a partnership between government, media, community and corporations to improve reading and literacy rates in Australia through a year-long campaign of events and activities.
“According to the 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, 46% of all Australians don’t have the literacy skills they need to cope with everyday life and work.
“And a survey by the Australian Industry Group in May 2010 found that more than 75% of major employers felt their businesses were affected by low levels of literacy.
“An Australian Early Development Index report of March 2010 included the results for the language and cognitive skills of nearly 250,000 five-year olds. These figures showed 23% of Australian five year olds were developmentally vulnerable or at risk of not achieving the necessary cognitive and language skills.
“Young children who grow up with no reading culture in their homes start school on the back foot and are at risk of a lifetime of unemployment or low paid jobs.
“In Victoria that figure was 16% and here in the G21 area it was 13%. So, we are doing better than the national and state averages, but we want to see this figure much lower.
“So, we’re encouraging our community to embrace learning, language and literacy and most of all to have fun with it so they can participate fully in our society. That’s what National Year of Reading 2012 is really all about”, Cr Richards said.
GRLC will be supporting National Year of Reading with events for all ages to promote reading and literacy throughout 2012. The community can learn more about these events by visiting the libraries, through the quarterly events and programs brochure and on the library website: www.geelonglibraries.vic.gov.au