A new program aims to get Canterbury-Bankstown’s children off to a great start in literacy long before they see the inside of a classroom.

City of Canterbury-Bankstown’s new 1,000 Books Before School program, launching on Thursday 12 October, aims to encourage parents and carers to read 1,000 books with young children before they start kindergarten.

Campsie mother Yusra Metwally, who will be taking up the challenge with her four-year-old son, Karim, said the campaign fosters a love of reading in young children and helps them prepare for school.

“Reading and storytelling with babies and children promotes brain development, imagination, language and learning,” she said.

“Over the years, I have seen so much progress with my child in connecting to learning so many new concepts.

“I personally cherish the memories I had going to Lakemba and Greenacre library with my mother as a child and I now enjoy sharing this experience with my son.”

Canterbury-Bankstown Deputy Mayor Rachelle Harika said reading regularly with children also encourages a positive attitude towards reading and learning.

“There is evidence that children begin to benefit from regular reading as early as eight months old,” Deputy Mayor Harika said.

“Reading to your child in your first language also brings the same benefits. By reading just three books every day, the program is easily completed in just one year.

“It will build wonderful memories and set them up for a lifetime love of learning.”

Deputy Mayor Harika said the program was as simple as signing up at one of Council’s nine Libraries.

“All you need to do after that is record the books you read to your under school age child using the Reader Zone app or fill in a reading log that you will receive with your starter kit,” Deputy Mayor Harika said.

“After reading 100 books, visit your library to receive a very special library bag and a badge. You’ll then receive a new badge for every 100 books after that.

“I encourage all parents of children from newborns to five-year-olds to join this great program.”

The 1,000 Books Before School program official launch will be held on Thursday 12 October at the Bryan Brown Theatre and Function Centre.

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