Book gift to aid literacy

EACH year, 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss, the most common disability diagnosed at birth.

Early identification and intervention means a child is on track to develop speech, listening, language, literacy and social skills so they can realise their full potential.
Joining forces to improve literacy among children with hearing loss, world-leading early intervention specialists The Shepherd Centre and Newtown-based children’s book publisher Walker Books Australia hosted a Book Week event yesterday which saw children and staff dress up as characters from their favourite books.
A Street Library, kindly donated by Street Library Australia and painted by Pascale Beard, a relative of Shepherd Centre graduate Lewis Beard, was filled with children’s books, thanks to a Walker Books donation and unveiled at the centre.
“Focussing on listening, speech and language is so crucial in the early years to develop a solid communicative base as well as the foundations needed for literacy,” The Shepherd Centre’s Aleisha Davis said.
“Reading can be a challenge for children with hearing loss as so much of early literacy involves listening to what letters sound like, identifying different sounds in words and being able to segment and blend different sounds.”
Walker Books chief Angela van den Belt said: “Walker Books is passionate about the Australian children’s book industry and getting quality books in the hands of young readers everywhere.”
It costs almost $16,000 per year per child to provide essential hearing intervention services. The Shepherd Centre relies on government support and fundraising to help the more than 500 families who turn to them each year. For more info or to make a donation, visit or call 1800 020 030.