A new approach to early literacy across Australia

By April 6, 2019 No Comments

Ready to Read, Sydney’s first early literacy program designed specifically for preschool-aged children, has launched an online offering.  Ready to Read On-Demand will extend accessibility to literacy for children around Australia, by offering online lessons which focus on essential early literacy skills.

Media reports indicate that a staggering 44 percent of Australians have below proficiency levels of literacy; and 20 percent of children starting school don’t have the skills to learn properly. Studies have shown that the preschool years are an essential time in which to develop the skills required for later reading.

Ready to Read On-Demand focuses on essential early literacy elements such as phonics, phonological awareness, concepts about print and handwriting, equipping children with the skills they need to avoid literacy challenges once they commence school. This program also equips parents with information, via fortnightly literacy tips.

“We’re excited to launch On-Demand, as it allows us to address several barriers families face in accessing our program: location, cost and availability,” said Michelle Mowbray, Director of Ready to Read.  “This program will allow us to reach families from major cities to remote towns, at a time and location which suits each family.  Essential early literacy skills should be available to all children across Australia; and we’re working to make that vision a reality.”

The abundance of overseas content and animated content online, has been reported to be impacting the language and vocabulary skills of children in Australia.  Ready to Read On-Demand lessons are taught by a qualified Australian early literacy teacher.  The program also features story time, where publisher-approved books are read to children by the teacher, to address the decline in story time at home.  “One of our key goals at Ready to Read is to give children a love of reading.  Enjoying quality literature is an important part of achieving that goal,” said Michelle.

Music is also incorporated into this program, through a song produced and performed by popular children’s entertainers Lah-Lah and Buzz.  The song, available in video and audio streaming formats, covers the primary sound made by each letter of the alphabet.

Finally, the program, which sees children learning how to grip a pencil and correctly write the letters of the alphabet, will result in children using their screen time to aid the development of new skills, including physical skills.

This launch is an exciting development for the Ready to Read team, who relentlessly pursue their vision of enhancing literacy across all communities in Australia. Last year, Ready to Read launched a not-for-profit partnership to work towards the achievement of their vision – expanding access to early literacy skills across communities of all types.  This partnership will be leveraged to make On-Demand available to those communities which need it the most.

View a short video about the program:

About Ready to Read: Ready to Read is a unique, systematic, sequential and explicit early literacy program designed primarily for children in the year before school.  Developed in Sydney in 2001 by experts in education and speech pathology, it combines the best of both phonics and whole language approaches.  Ready to Read provides a strong foundation of literacy by combining the strongest predictors of literacy success based on research and evidence.