A big celebration is planned for an amazing idea that was born in Parkes and has spread across the whole of Australia.
Next year will be the 25th anniversary of Paint the Town REaD (PTTR), the annual reading day that involves the whole Parkes community with its philosophy of reading, talking, singing, drawing, playing with your children every day from birth to support early brain development. It is expected that 100 communities will be hosting a reading day this year from remote to urban communities in all states.
Last week founder of PTTR Rhonda Brain OAM welcomed the Executive Director of Paint the Town REaD Ltd Barbie Bates AOM and the NSW Co-ordinator Robyne Harrison to Parkes to look at the possibility of hosting PTTR’s 9th national conference in Parkes to coincide with the 25th reading day.
The PTTR delegation met with the Mayor and some Councillors last week to discuss the conference that is expected to be attended by up to 150 people from grassroots child and family workers, to librarians, early childhood directors and workers, through to policy makers.
“We see it as something really big, and we want to make it really big,” said Rhonda. “We would love to come here as Parkes is the birthplace of the model,” said Barbie.
Robyne said her first experience of a Parkes reading day really helped to give her a foundation of how to involve the community. “I am really hopeful that we can have the conference in Parkes so everyone can see how it’s done and to inspire them all.”