Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Clinking teacups to give Shepparton kids Best Start

Shepparton residents are being encouraged to have a Cuppa 4 Our Kids and raise money for in support of the Best Start Book program.

SIONNIE KELLY July 9, 2014 3:11am

Balaclava Rd Child Care Centre staff members (back) Lisa Ferguson and Gracie Sciacca with children Kira Langford, 4, Harry Hughes, 4, Poppy Glynn, 4, Aylah Foster, 4, Elardian Nebiu, 5, Aiden McPherson, 5, Victoria Miller, 6, Cedah Opie, 5, and Hannah McMaster, 4.

People in businesses across Shepparton will be clinking their teacups together during A Cuppa 4 Our Kids month.

The Greater Shepparton Community Literacy Workshop created the A Cuppa 4 Our Kids initiative.

Next month, businesses will be encouraged to have a morning tea for their staff, who can make a gold coin donation in support of the Best Start Book program.

The program provides babies and children aged four weeks, eight months, 18 months and three-and-a-half years with a book bag full of early literacy resources through their Maternal and Child Health nurse.

Best Start co-ordinator Belinda Whitelaw said the morning teas were a good way to keep the Best Start Book program going and providing young children with the chance to practise their literacy skills from an early age.

‘‘We’ve had a local book bag program running for eight or nine years now and it’s quite expensive to run that program,’’ Ms Whitelaw said.

‘‘We were trying to think of some fundraising ideas so the book bag program is sustainable in the long-term and becomes community owned.’’

Ms Whitelaw said she hoped this year more businesses would become involved with the Best Start Book program by hosting morning teas.

‘‘We hope to get a few more schools involved as well and some workplaces are quite creative in what they do,’’ she said.

Shepparton’s Balaclava Rd Child Care Centre recently signed up to host its first A Cuppa 4 Kids morning tea.

‘‘We understand the importance of literacy and books with young children, so we thought we’d get on to it and raise money,’’ centre director Lisa Ferguson said.

‘‘We plan to make up playdough and sell it to families for a gold coin donation and we’re going to have a morning tea for families to be involved in.’’

Kindergarten teacher Penni-Anne Cooknell said having a morning tea was a good way to get families involved.

‘‘The children would enjoy having the parents in the centre and participating in what is a routine for them,’’ she said.

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