Reading Friends Australia’s Supporting Schools Improving Reading Skills in Children are among the successful projects announced for the Goulburn electorate under the NSW Government’s Children and Young People Wellbeing Recovery initiative.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the aim of the program is to support recovery and boost resilience for young people in the region following the impacts of natural disasters and COVID-19.

“I’m thrilled to announce support for Reading Friends Australia to help children in our community bounce back stronger than ever in the wake of COVID-19 disruptions and natural disasters,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“The Supporting Schools Improving Reading Skills in Children K-6 – Expansion is a great example of how we can help young people recover, build resilience and improve wellbeing by providing them with the tools and resources they need to become the best version of themselves.”

Reading Friends Australia Chair, Luciana De Michiel said the organisation’s aim is to help children improve their reading skills.

“We implement a series of school-based, and community-based activities. Pilots of these activities have been running successfully since 2022.

“The Supporting Schools Improving Reading Skills in Children K-6 expansion will extend these activities to other schools in the Wingecarribee, and possibly Goulburn areas.

“We recruit, vet and train volunteers to go into schools as reading helpers. Teachers select the children who need assistance, and a roster is organised.

“Volunteers read with the same children at least once a week, establishing a friendly working relationship, which benefits both the child and the volunteer, taking away some pressure from the teachers at the same time,” Mrs De Michiel said.

Minister for Regional Youth Ben Franklin said the $10.3 million Children and Young People Wellbeing Recovery Initiative offers large grants between $10,000 and $50,000 and small grants for up to $10,000.

“The large grants fund projects such as community events, peer support groups, cultural connection or partnership programs, while small grants are to enable initiatives like sporting programs and barbecues,” Mr Franklin said.

“Our Regional Youth Community Coordinators will help connect young people with the projects that best support their wellbeing and recovery and foster resilience and connection.”

The Children and Young People Wellbeing Recovery Initiative is funded through the NSW COVID-19 Economic Recovery Initiative and the co-funded NSW and Australian Governments’ Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

For more information on the program, visit