In late 2014, Reading Out of Poverty applied for an EastWeb grant for their program ‘Pop Up & Read’. This innovative literary service aimed to provide a portable library to disadvantaged children and their parents. Ultimately Pop Up & Read sought to promote school readiness and learning success, in line with Reading Out of Poverty’s purpose statement ‘All children should have an equal chance when they start school – regardless of where they are from.’
The service is staffed by volunteers who read to the children individually or in groups. Parents are also provided guidance on helping their children’s reading journey beyond the library. In addition books are available to keep or exchange.
Initially, the program aimed to support over 100 children and their parents or carers.
EastWeb provided some funding to seed the books in the library, as well as some training for the volunteers and materials required for the pop-up library.
In June 2015 two EastWeb board members visited Reading Out of Poverty in Fitzroy. It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm of all the smiling kids as they ran around to collect some books to take home for the school holidays. Not a single book remained on the tables.
Well done to Emma and everyone else involved, this is a fantastic initiative!