How can we join the Books in Homes® Program?
There are four ways to join the Books in Homes® Program: self-fund, corporate sponsorship, grants, and fundraising. For more information on each approach go to the Participation page.
Where do the books come from?
Premier publisher Scholastic Australia is the Books in Homes® distribution partner. Scholastic sources the long list of titles from its own publishing activities, as well as multiple publishers from around Australia then the Book Selection Committee selects the titles for each of the Book Catalogues. Once orders come in, Scholastic ships the books to participating childcare centres, preschools and primary schools.
What length of time do we need to commit for?
You can sign up on a term-by-term basis. However, most participating childcare centres, preschools and primary schools commit for a minimum of a year before renewing, as we have discovered the Program works best with continuity and longevity.
What is the administration fee used for?
The 20% admin fee goes towards paying for office expenses and staff salaries so that Books in Homes® can continue to operate.
What is a Preview Pack?
Every participating early childcare centre, preschool and primary school receives a Preview Pack in Terms 1, 2 and 4. The Preview Pack consists of all the titles in the current Book Catalogue for each Program—the contents will vary according to the age of the children. The Preview Pack provides students, teachers and families with the opportunity to view and handle all the physical books on offer prior to the students making their selections. The Preview Pack is then donated to the centre, school or community library for all to access. Copies of the current Book Catalogues can be downloaded from the School Hub.
Why do students choose their own books? Shouldn’t parents and teachers be part of the process?
One of the many ways in which the Books in Homes® Program is unique is that it provides children with the power of choice. During each operating term, participating childcare centres, preschools and primary schools receive Preview Packs containing up to 48 quality new books that each child accesses to determine which three books they would like to take home and keep. When children are allowed to choose their own books it builds an expectation of what those titles will offer as a reading experience. When the choice is theirs, then fun and excitement go hand-in-hand with reading.
Here are five reasons why it is critical for students to choose their own books:
- They gain a sense of empowerment, which builds self-esteem
- They have a sense of ownership, which is important for children living in disadvantaged circumstances
- They feel an emotional connection to their books, and are more likely to talk about their books with their siblings and peers
- Reading in the home and at school becomes normalised, and provides the foundation for the development of literary skills and self-growth
- If they choose it they’ll read it!
We recommend parents or caregivers and teachers allow preschool children and primary school students to make independent decisions about book choices. However, families and childcare workers can help children in the 0-3 age group select their books.
Do students get to keep their books?
Yes! Each participating family or student will choose and receive nine brand new books per year, which they can take home to start building their home libraries. Books in Homes® also provides Book Labels for each book, which emphasises the two most important characteristics of the Program—choice and ownership.
Why are Book Giving Assemblies important?
Book Giving Assemblies are important for a number of reasons. Firstly, the ceremonial aspect of presenting the books helps build anticipation in students, and the physical act of handing over the book bags is often likened to receiving three additional and wonderfully exciting Christmas or birthday gifts every year. It must be noted that some children on the Program live in poverty so they do not usually receive presents at all so the impact of receiving nine books of choice a year is priceless! Secondly, the assembly is an important part of expressing appreciation to Sponsors for funding the Program, as well as giving Sponsors the opportunity to engage with the recipients of their generosity—the students. Thirdly, children get to hear inspirational stories from Role Models or participate in exciting activities organised specifically for the assembly, which provide a value-added glow in celebrating books and reading. Finally, the Book Giving Assembly allows students and teachers to engage with parents or care givers in an atmosphere and environment of fun and excitement, which fosters school and community spirit.
Do we hand over all three books in each book bag all at once?
Yes. Each child or student should receive three books-of-choice in their book bags during each operating term in order to utilise the Program structure effectively and to its full potential. Exceptions can be made in rare circumstances, although it is best to discuss these scenarios with us first so we can accommodate your needs. Books in Homes® supplies an additional quota of Caught Being Good books and certificates to childcare centres and primary schools, which can be used for incentives and rewards outside of the normal Book-Giving Assemblies.
Can we organise our own Role Model?
Yes, of course. Books in Homes® has a dedicated Role Model Coordinator who works to appoint Role Models to childcare centres, preschools and primary schools each operating term but sometimes Role Models are difficult to source in regional and remote areas. In these cases, if you have found an ideal person to volunteer then advise the office and brief them accordingly by providing them with a copy of the Book Giving Assembly Guidelines for Role Models. You can also nominate to permanently appoint your Role Models from term to term. Just advise the Role Model Coordinator so we can make the notation on our database.
How does the Caught Being Good initiative work?
Books in Homes® provides additional books and certificates that early childcare centres and primary schools can use as tangible rewards and incentives for children and students. Examples of good behaviour include:
- Improved school attendance
- Consistent effort in reading or in other subjects in class
- Meeting or exceeding personal reading goals or challenges (eg. reading books of a higher difficulty, spending more time reading than scheduled, reading more books per week / month / term than planned)
- Mentoring reading buddies
- Writing book reviews.
These incentives and rewards present reading in a positive light and ensures it is at the forefront of a child or student’s mind.
Who can enter the Role Model Competition?
The Book Catalogue Role Model Competition is open three times a year for primary school students in participating schools. The details are listed in the Primary Book Catalogue. Students can win one of 25 AMAZING book pack prizes. All they have to do is answer the questions about the Book Catalogue Role Model. Typically, Books in Homes® receives over 300 entries each term.
Why is the cost of the Early Childhood Program higher than the Preschool Program and the Primary School Program?
The selection on the Early Childhood Program Book Catalogue includes board books, which are more expensive to produce than picture books and novels. In addition, there are invariably fewer children enrolled in childcare centres than in preschools and primary schools so the cost of product manufacture and supply is proportionately higher.
CEO and Chairperson
Books in Homes Australia
Phone: 02 9434 2488