Book Week is celebrated across Australia this month (20 to 26 August), a time when many families are focused on the benefits of reading and storytime.

While every child should have the opportunity to learn to read confidently, research reveals that one in five students across Australia do not meet the National Proficient Standard in reading literacy.

In partnership with theAustralian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF), Big W is supporting the Breakfast Library, providing kids in challenging circumstances with a nutritious breakfast, age-appropriate books and the support they need to build their reading skills.

The program has been piloted over the past year in 12 underserved schools in western Sydney and western NSW, supporting over 800 students with breakfast three to five times a week, alongside reading sessions and a book to take home each week to further develop their literacy skills. To date, Big W has donated over 30,000 books to the program.

As Book Week approaches, Big W is launching a national fundraiser to expand the benefits of reading to more children in need. Until 3 September, customers are invited to round up their transactions or make a donation at their local Big W to raise funds for the expansion of the Breakfast Library to the rest of Australia.

A $2 donation will fund a child’s participation in the program with breakfast and a book to take home each day. Big W will also be matching donations up to $100,000 to support the expansion of the program nationally, with a focus on supporting families in First Nations and remote communities.

Big W head of communications and reputation, Vanessa Churnin said, “When a child learns to read and write, it allows them to participate fully in society and take advantage of the opportunities in life that most of us take for granted.

“As one of the biggest retailers of books in Australia, Big W understands the benefits of reading and story time in setting children up for the future. The Breakfast Library aims to help close the gap in literacy development, as well as setting kids up for a successful day of learning with a healthy breakfast. After a successful pilot, we are pleased to be partnering with ALNF to expand the program and invite our customers to get involved.”