MEDIA RELEASE: 60,000 Books to Regional Homes Thanks to Books in Homes and BHPFeb 1, 2019 0
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1 February 2019
The BHP and Books in Homes Australia partnership has been expanded to deliver almost 60,000 books to 1,870 Australian children across Australia over the next three years. The important literacy partnership will see primary school children, pre-schoolers and children aged 0 to 3, receive reading materials who for various reasons otherwise might not have access to them.
The expansion of the partnership, which began in 2011 and has already seen nearly 15,000 books reach children throughout regional Australia has helped to build not only literacy skills but excitement in young Australians about reading.
In 2018, the Australian Publishers Association1 conducted a literature review of 18 research papers and reported that amongst other benefits, literacy and reading for pleasure play a significant role in a child’s happiness and success, and is also good for their health. Indeed, increased literacy and numeracy skills have a positive and significant effect on jobs and wages; reading and literacy can help children escape poverty; and increased literacy skills will create a healthier, wealthier, more engaged and more equitable society.
Furthermore, growing up in a home with a 500-book library can lead a child to complete 3.2 more years of schooling, on average. Even having as few as 20 books around the house can significantly impact a child’s future education. The more books added, the greater the benefit.2
The averaged standardised reading scores in a 2016 research report conducted on 39,097 children by the National Literacy Trust in the UK (where <85=below average; 85 to 115 = average; >115 above average in reading scores) was 102.84 where children have a book of their own, as opposed to 86.65 where children don’t have a book of their own.3
Moreover, nearly four times as many children who don’t have a book of their own at home read below the average expected for their age compared with their peers who own a book. Conversely, 15 times as many children who own a book read above the expected level compared with their peers who don’t have a book of their own.4
Peter Large, CEO from Books in Homes Australia, spoke about the value of literacy skills and the accessibility to books to begin children’s reading journeys.
“BHP’s support of Books in Homes through its community-based Social Investment program will help many thousands of children across Australia receive books and opportunities that they otherwise might not have received. Working with BHP through its community base, Books in Homes will be able to reach many children in remote areas of Australia that do not get the everyday chance to visit a bookshop or acquire a book-of-choice.”
Amanda Negus, Social Investment Manager for BHP also discussed the importance of being able to provide children life skills in the form of literacy.
“We are delighted to be expanding our partnership with Books in Homes Australia and the opportunity for regional children to be able to receive books who may not have easy access to these all-important childhood tools. The focus on education for the communities in which we operate is at the heart of the BHP Social Investment strategy and this partnership is a further extension of that. Literacy skills and the ability to read is the foundation of success in not only our education system but our society and we are delighted to be able to bring more books to more Australian children,” she said.
Over the next three years the partnership will provide over 60,000 books to 32 schools, preschools, childcare centres and community playgroups (six in NSW, eight in Qld, three in SA, and fifteen in WA) through the Books in Homes Australia Program.
Julie Ditrich, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 02 9434 2488 or 0412 445 511
Peter Large, CEO
Phone: 02 9434 2488 or 0411 405 405
1 Australian Publishers Association. (November 2018). Reading is Good for You: A literature review. Sydney: Australian Publishers Association. Retrieved on 28 January 2019.
2 Science Daily. (21 May 2010). Books in home as important as parents’ education in determining children’s educational level. ScienceDaily. University of Nevada. Retrieved on 28 January 2019.
3 & 4 Clark, C., & Teravainen, A. (December 2017). Book ownership and reading outcomes. London: National Literacy Trust. Retrieved on 28 January 2019.