AN INNOVATIVE program is setting Eaglehawk children up for life, using the magic of picture books.
For children receiving their books has been like Christmas morning, while parents say they are a lifesaver.
Eaglehawk Preschool took up the offer of free story books for its children last year from children's book service 123 Read2Me.
Teacher in charge Kathryn Rothacker said the goal was to improve outcomes for the preschool children, many of whom were vulnerable and had quite low literacy.
Ms Rothacker used to have about six children at least without any books at home.
Now every child takes a book home once a week, for keeps.
Ms Rothacker said it was like Christmas for some children when they were given the books, which teachers had suited to their interests.
Children even received their very own book bag, with five brand new stories in them and a drink bottle.
Ms Rothacker said story books gave the children access to quality speech and a range of different words, which children in vulnerable homes often missed out on.
She said this would help with speech development, as well as equipping them to get the best start possible in their education.
Not only this, but Ms Rothacker said the books were a fantastic avenue of connection between parents or grandparents and children.
"I had one parent in particular ... contact me one weekend ... out of the blue, saying 'Those books have been a lifesaver in our house. My child has wanted me to read them over and over and over again'," Ms Rothacker said.
"Those children hold it close to their heart. It's a really important thing that someone's valued them enough to give them a book."
The preschool has received about 700 books in total now, enough to send each child home with a book every week.
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