A Pyjama Angel

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“We each have an enormous capacity to make a difference and The Pyjama Foundation is actually doing that; changing the world, one child at a time”  Bryce Courtenay AM

Yesterday I opened a new and exciting door in my life.  I had my interview to become a ‘Pyjama Angel’.  What is a ‘Pyjama Angel’ I hear you say?.   It is  a Volunteer from the community that is  recruited, screened, trained and supported to help  children improve their literacy skills.  You must commit to one hour each week to read aloud to the same child – a child placed in Foster Care.  You go to the child’s home and share a wonderful hour reading and playing literacy/numeracy games.  It can be as easy as reading a picture book together and playing a game of  UNO.  But what is important is that you are there, with a very special child, giving them your attention and making reading a positive experience.  ‘Pyjama Angels deliver The Pyjama Foundation Love of Learning Program®, a literacy-based mentoring program which addresses statistics around children in care:

  • 92% of children in care are below the average reading level at age seven
  • 75% of these children do not complete schooling
  • 50% of the homeless come from a care background
  • 35% enter the juvenile justice system at some point (82% of Australian prisoners have below grade 4 level of functional literacy)
  • 28% of care-leavers are parents within 12 months of leaving care

There are around 31,000 children in care in Australia, a figure which doubled in the last decade. Indigenous children vastly over-represented.’

I still have to complete one evening of training before I start.  Corrin our Ipswich Coordinator will then place me with a child and  then the fun begins.  I am really excited.  I have  shelves full of books and cupboards full of games now that I am not teaching.  Ben and I of coarse enjoy using them but the ‘more the merrier’ they say.  I love to read stories aloud – it was my favorite time of the day as a teacher and now it is amazing to read with my son.  I am so excited to share my love of books with another little person who may not have experienced such joy before.   I will keep you updated – no names or photos  just wonderful stories!!

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Whether they are the stories we tell, or stories in books, stories are one of Ben’s favorite activities. I have enjoyed reading to Ben and watching how he reacts to books.  He often picks his own stories and loves to question what you read…. but why Mum why? how come? or whats that?.  He sometimes loves to read them to you.  He enjoys acting parts out – blowing a sailing ships across the page or pretending to eat the  gingerbread man off the pages.   Ben knows that the printed word carries a message and is now pointing out words that are meaningful to him.  As a Mum and an Early Childhood Educator I find this fascinating and exciting.  We are going to go to the library this week and sign up for a borrowing card.  He will just love picking books to take home.  Here are some of his favorites-

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A Quiet Moment….

Today was  a testing day.  Ben tested most of his boundaries just in case they had changed.  So there was  a few tantrums when he realised that the rules hadn’t changed in his favor!  I was nearly at the end of my tether when I noticed all had gone quiet except for this little voice coming from the lounge.  Ben had curled up with his favorite books and was reading.  He was turning the pages and saying words.  My little boy is growing up and wow it is so lovely to witness.  His favorite books at the moment are Busy Railway by Rebecca Finn (he turns the pages saying ‘toot toot choo choo’).  He also enjoys Row Row Row Your Boat by Trace Moroney and Baa Baa Black Sheep by Brimax  (he says ‘Row row row’ and ‘Baa Baa’).  Some other favorites are Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, Noisey Cars by Bright Baby, Gallop by Rufus Butler Seder, Cats by Baby Einstein  and Playschool Numbers by ABC.  We have story time every night before he goes to bed.  It is my favorite part of the day.

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New Favourite Books!

Ben still loves a story before bed. These are some of the recent favourites.

1. I Went Walking by Sue Machin and Julie Vivas
2. I Love to Dance by Anna Walker (A birthday present from Aunty Carly and Uncle Darrin)
3. I Love to Sing by Anna Walker
4. The Wheels on the Bus – Brimax
5. That’s not my bunny……. by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells
I Went Walking I Love to Dance I Love to Sing The Wheels on the Bus That\'s not my bunny.......


As new parents we are constantly monitoring and comparing Benjamin’s “progress”. In this modern day environment there is such a volume of information readily available that offers guidance or advice on what/when/how a child “should” develop. In addition there is the advice of friends and family who have been through it all before.

Ben loves to read his booksIt is so easy to get hung up on measuring your child’s current progress against these standards and expectations.

Our most recent observation was Benjamin’s mobility (or lack of, according to expectations). It seems that there is such a wide range of “normal” for when, how or even if a baby will start to crawl (some start at six or seven months, others skip straight to walking). Up until Ben’s first birthday he was moving around only a little. Since he turned one he has taken off but he is still not crawling in the traditional sense (he commando crawls on his belly mostly).

As I said it is easy to get hung up on these milestones that are perceived as important. I am sure there are plenty of things that Ben does perfectly well before “time” that go unnoticed.

We have learned to just watch and encourage in the knowledge that these things will all happen in good time. We are certainly enjoying watching Ben as he discovers and develops. It seems every week or even every day at times, he is doing something new (well it’s exciting for us anyway).