More than 200 books have been delivered to the Paediatric Unit at Gympie Hospital to improve the literacy skills of young patients.
The $3,000 ‘Get Kids Reading Again’ program was funded by local hospital foundation Wishlist, which supports the needs of Gympie Hospital.
Wishlist Development and Operations Manager Jeff McColl said the majority of funds were raised thanks to those buying coffee and lunch items at the hospital’s Wishlist Coffee House.
“This program came about because Paediatric Nurse Tanja Harris applied for a Wishlist grant to help her young patients improve their literacy,” Mr McColl said.
“We think it’s pretty great when health and education combine to create greater outcomes.”
Ms Harris said the books were now being given to children who visit the unit for treatment.
“Unfortunately, the Gympie region has a higher rate of developmentally vulnerable children compared to the Sunshine Coast – 30.4 percent compared to 21.8 per cent on the Coast,” Ms Harris said.
“So with this program, we will be helping children to develop their language and cognitive skills.”
Ms Harris said owner of Twiga Books Lorraine Broadley handpicked the books to ensure they were age-appropriate.
“Wishlist was very kind to donate $3,000 to us so we could help improve literacy skills and language skills.
“We are encouraging care givers to read to their children again.”
For more information or to donate visit wishlist.org.au.