There are around 31,000 Australian children in foster care at any given time.
Statistics show that 92% of children in care have below average reading skills by the time they are only seven years of age, and it is a struggle for them to catch up.
Literacy is a significant life skill in our society however development of this skill is hindered by inequitable access to literacy development opportunities.
Children's author and literacy expert Mem Fox advocates that children need to have 1000 books read aloud to them before they can learn to read themselves, and that this should take place in the pre-school years.
Unfortunately this is not an option for all children, which is where The Pyjama Foundation comes in.
Since 2005, the foundation has been alleviating some of the pressure on Foster Carers in a practical way, through the volunteer-implemented, literacy-based The Pyjama Foundation Love of Learning Program®.
Trained mentors are matched with a child who they visit each week, to spend one-on-one time focusing specifically on improving the children's literacy skills.
Pyjama Angels read books aloud, play educational games, and enjoy each others company. By doing so they are demonstrating that this child is also valued as an individual.
Since inception only six years ago, Queensland Australian of the Year 2009 and Founder and Director of The Pyjama Foundation, Bronwyn Sheehan, has inspired around 1600 members of our community to become volunteer Pyjama Angels, transforming the lives of children in care through literacy and mentoring.