Learning to read is one of the biggest challenges, and greatest opportunities, in a child’s early life. Local parents Ashley and Caroll Bolitho believe that Tomorrow Today’s PEEP program played a vital role in developing early literacy skills for their son, Owen.

“We were delighted to hear from Owen’s parents that he is now reading independently,” shares Sally Matheson, Education Benalla Program Manager at Tomorrow Today. “It is an important milestone, when children have the skills to read silently, self-correct any mistakes and stay focused throughout longer texts. This is an exciting time on Owen’s reading journey.”

The Bolitho family have remained in close contact with Tomorrow Today since they commenced PEEP when Owen was 2 months of age. Father Ashley Bolitho credited PEEP with creating early literacy success.

“Reading books, singing songs, playing games – all those early activities in PEEP taught Caroll and I amazing skills, and helped set Owen up for learning. He went to school ready to learn, and the team at St Joseph’s has continued to build on that. We are so proud of where he’s at.”

PEEP Coordinator Cath Warnock said, “It is such a joy to see the benefits of PEEP come to fruition years down the track. Everyone has a lot of fun in our sessions, but there’s an important purpose – to give every Benalla child the best start to their education. When families, schools and communities come together to support learning, great things happen.”

PEEP (Parents Early Education Partnership) is a facilitated weekly playgroup run by Tomorrow Today for all families in Benalla and district who have preschool children. It supports parents as their child’s first educator and fosters children’s early learning through play.

Tomorrow Today is Benalla’s Community Foundation, dedicated to helping local people create a stronger, more resilient and prosperous local community.

Caption: PEEP Coordinator Cath Warnock presents a Reading Award to Owen, accompanied by parents Ashley and Carroll Bolitho.

Caption: PEEP Coordinator Cath Warnock presents a Reading Award to Owen, accompanied by parents Ashley and Caroll Bolitho.