At Life Without Barriers, we believe that all children are entitled to an education.
Anything worthwhile often takes a good deal of effort. Just ask the team that put together one of the most successful campaigns of 2021!
In a year of lockdowns and more virtual reality than we had an appetite for, it was time to get back to basics. Enter the Hook into Books campaign, brought to us by the newly formed Education Unit.
Created for children and young people in out-of-home care, the campaign's purpose was founded on the idea that engaging children of any age with reading is one of the most powerful things we can do for them. And it clearly worked.
The social media campaign reached thousands of people, who liked, promoted and shared the various initiatives to a broader audience - leading to more than 1000 books being donated and a 5000+ newsletter reach outside of Life Without Barriers.
Statistics aside, each activity generated an enormous amount of activity, interaction and positive collaboration.
Let's take a look at some of the key highlights of the campaign:
Reading Out Loud Without Barriers
Highlighting the very personal and emotive experiences of books and reading, this activity was the foundational piece of the Campaign. Shared across the many Life Without Barriers social platforms, our Author supporters, staff, and kids of the Organisation recorded individual Vlogs, sharing their own literacy journeys, reflecting and connecting with the idea of being ‘Hooked into books’.
Being ‘caught’ for something during Hook into Books wasn’t a bad thing! Leading by example, many readers, far and wide were ‘caught’ in the act! This simple activity demonstrated that reading is fun, can be done anywhere, by anyone, at any time!
The images that were captured during #CatchAReader showcased a diverse snapshot of how the Life Without Barriers community connected with and Hooked into Books! See some beautiful photos below.
The Traveling Book Suitcase
The Traveling Book Suitcases received much interest from the Life Without Barriers community during the Campaign and all eight suitcases are currently in circulation. We then moved to backpacks to ensure we kept bookings reaching the hands that needed them.
Each case or bag also contained book-related materials for children and young people to keep (bookmarks, stickers, posters, and bunting). The goal was to expose, engage and support staff and carers to walk with their children and young people to create literacy-rich environments.
"We enjoyed the virtual Storytime so much!" Life Without Barriers Carer.
During the Campaign, the staff of Life Without Barriers were so generous and enthusiastic. So much so that for three weeks of the Spring school holidays staff volunteered their time to virtually read to children and young people during our Virtual Storytelling Sessions.
Many children, young people and carers tuned in, far and wide and provided such wonderful feedback, making each session a success! Following each Virtual Storytelling session, we distributed books to the children and young people who joined in to express our thanks and encourage their reading journeys!
Hook into Books Mini-Series Podcast
To complement the activities of the Campaign was the Hook into Books Mini-Series Podcast show. Five episodes were recorded featuring conversations with important guests of the Campaign. Each episode offers various perspectives of reading engagement, providing both information and practical hints and tips to support listeners to encourage their children and young people's to be active participants in their own literacy journeys. Listen here!
Members Only Club - Join your Local Library
In Collaboration with The Australian Children's Laureate Foundation and the 2020-21 Children's Laurate, Ursula Dubosarsky, we promoted the importance of joining your local library. Ursula is a passionate advocate for kids and books, and her main objective as Laurate is to get all kids, far and wide to join their local library.
The more kids join and attend their local libraries, the more people will start to realise how important libraries are for children's literacy, as they experiment, form their own tastes, and develop their own agency over their reading.
How did Life Without Barriers Hook into Books?
The Hook into Books Campaign was embraced by the very many staff of Life Without Barriers across Australia. There were many examples of those who engaged in the Campaign to complement their work with children, young people, and their carers. Whether it be participating in activities such as #CatchAReader to supporting young people to combine their talents with reading - like Chloe* did during her weekly virtual dance sessions.
"This is such a great way to get children, young people and even adults to pick up a book." Life Without Barriers staff member.
We saw many staff take a Traveling Book Suitcase on a home visit to the friendly faces of staff reading a book online during our Virtual Storytime Sessions. Staff embraced their local libraries and developed local strategies for children and young people to join up as members, and staff made sure kids could participate in National Book Week.
Teamwork really does make the dream work, and we are very thankful to all who participated with such enthusiasm to the joy of Hook into Books! With special thank you to all our contributors - without you we could not have #HookedIntoBooks!
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