Central Coast Council hosted a free family event at Long Jetty on October 21 to celebrate Parker the Platypus’ second birthday and launch of his sixth children’s book.
Parker is part of Council’s Paint the Coast REaD program, which encourages parents, grandparents and carers to read, sing or rhyme with children every day from birth to help set them up for a lifetime of success.
Council Unit Manager, Libraries, Learning and Education, Beth Burgess, said since hatching only two years ago, Parker has not only become a prolific author, but also one of Council’s beloved mascots.
“Research has shown that more than 20 per cent of Australian children arrive at school without the necessary skills to make the most of their early education,” Burgess said.
“Through Paint the Coast REaD, we aim to encourage the community to support the development of children’s early literacy while creating a sense of excitement and enthusiasm around reading, which is exactly what Parker creates for children and families.
“In October, Parker launched his fifth book that focuses on road safety, and he personally handed out copies at his birthday picnic at Saltwater Creek Reserve.
“We have also recently provided local schools with A3 copies of the first three books, allowing children to continue making positive connections to literacy development in the classroom,” Burgess said.
Mayor Lisa Matthews encouraged parents with children under the age of six to engage with Council’s Library Service to help them develop a love of learning.
“Our Library Service ensures that all members of our community have equal access to the latest in technology, resources and information,” Mayor Matthews said.
Media release, Oct 10
Central Coast Council Media