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The Song Room Reading Bug program

In partnership with VicSeg, and generously supported by the RE Ross Trust, The Song Room is now in the second year of the Reading Bug Project, a three-year early childhood, literacy program for pre-school children and their parents.

The program set out to improve the pre-literacy skills of children, provide a vehicle for parent and child engagement and interaction as well as to develop effective parental reading habits, particularly in communities where this is not part of the culture.

The ‘Reading Bugs’ are trained Song Room Teaching Artists who are experts in early childhood music, singing and storytelling. They deliver weekly 45-60 minute fun and accessible singing and storytelling workshops/sessions for the children and their parents at each Playgroup. The Reading Bugs encourage parents participation in the program, encouraging them to read together with their children and have fun with stories from books.

Reports from the Playgroup Facilitator and the Teaching Artist both indicate that children’s levels of articulation of words, English and cultural literacy levels improved as a result of participation in the program.

“The children are very enthusiastic about the program and will ask if Ally is coming if she is not there when they arrive. There are a few girls who also attend 4 year old kindergarten on a different day to the playgroup. When Ally starts the session, they are very engaged and know all the songs, all the actions and interact and contribute their ideas” -Waan Tardif, Playgroup facilitator

The Song Room also invited the playgroups participating in the Reading Bug program to attend a Music and Art discovery day, NGV Arts Alive, at the National Gallery of Victoria. Families were given access to a variety of activities, including a craft session in the Great Hall, a tour of the artwork in the Asian Art collection, an exploration session in the NGV Kid’s Space and an opportunity to make music with Melbourne musician Anne Norman. Working with NGV as a program partner allowed The Song Room to vastly broaden the Playgroups’ experience.

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