Child Friendly City
BANC is participating in the drive for the Blue Mountains area to be recognised as a Child Friendly Community. Because every part of the community impacts on a child’s development, the Blue Mountains City Council’s Child and Family Plan provides a common focus for services, businesses, environmental organisations, government agencies and voluntary organisations to create three child-friendly city conditions:
- Learning is supported and valued from birth
- The community supports children and their families
- The built environment and public spaces are child and family friendly
Encouraging the communities in the Blue Mountains to embrace the concept of a Child Friendly City means that new parents will be supported, that children will learn through structured and unstructured play, and that language-rich social environments will support early literacy (Blue Mountains Child and Family Plan 2010).
If you would like any further information in regard to this, please contact Tanya James (Blue Mountains City Council) on 47805542.
School as a Hub
The idea of the hub is that they are vibrant and safe places that provide every family in the Blue Mountains with a soft entry into supportive friendships, a fun community life, and professional services and support.
The hubs in the Upper Mountains are based at Mount Victoria and Blackheath Public Schools. Playgroups run at both sites on Monday mornings 9.30-11.30am. Parents are asked to bring a piece of fruit to share and to make a gold coin donation.
Family and community events throughout the year include Family Fun Nights, Bushdances and Movie Nights.
Jo Davies convenes the Hub at the Top (HATT) meetings which occur 4-5 times per year. The Hub at the Top consists of Blackheath Public School, Mount Victoria Public School, Kookaburra Kindy, Possum Patch Children’s Cottage and Blue Gum Montessori Pre-School as well as community members from P & C groups, Connect and Gateway Child and Family Services, Blue Mountains Family Day Care, Blue Mountains Family Support Service, Sydney Western Area Health Service, Blue Mountains City Council and any other interested parties.
If you would like to become involved please contact Jo Davies (BANC) on 47877770.
Paint the Blue Read
Paint the Blue Read is an early literacy initiative of the Stronger Families Alliance and is auspiced by Mountains Outreach Community Service (MOCS). The PTBR program began in the Blue Mountains in 2008 and is developed by a collaborative working party comprising of librarians, community workers, bookshop staff and Rotarians. This group meet regularly to plan, promote and carry out activities that encourage early literacy throughout the Blue Mountains. The aim is to encourage all levels of the community to support the development of local children’s early literacy skills from birth and to make this fun for everyone!
Early Literacy Tips
- Read with your child from the day that they are born.
- The first three years of life are the most important for your child’s brain development.
- From birth, every time you talk, hug, sing and read with your baby, new brain connections are formed and strengthened.
If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Anne Fitzgerald (MOCS) on 47586811.
Volunteer Literacy Group
Jo Davies, BANC’s Community Development Worker, is supporting the Volunteer Literacy Group at Mount Victoria Public School, whereby volunteers from our community sit with children at the school for a few minutes each day and listen to them read. This has made a tremendous difference to the reading outcomes for children at the school and is a program that is enjoyed by both children and the volunteers.
If you would like to become involved in the program, please contact Jo Davies (BANC) on 47877770.
Books for East Timor
Jo Davies has been working with Margaret Hamilton (Pinerolo) to encourage the children from Upper Mountain Schools to create books for Biblioteka Emera in Timor Leste. The children create and design their own story books which are translated, printed, bound and sent to the new library in East Timor.