All children should have equal access to high standards of literacy and literary education. High literacy rates are in everyone’s best interests in the community – which is why Storyfest’s children’s literacy programmes are an integral part of the Gold Coast’s growing literary scene. Here’s why you should support it.


At Storyfest, we know how important it is for children to be equipped as best as they can be for the many challenges they’ll encounter in life – and one of the tools we can give them is better literacy and a strong love of literature. Literacy is vital to ensuring that children have the best chance to succeed in their schooling and everyday life. However, there are countless other reasons it benefits not only them, but us as a community, to receive high standards of literary education.

The wider importance of literacy

The significance of high literacy rates is evident across research. While one might think literacy extends only to the ability to read and write, it is so much more than that. Beyond the functional level, literacy plays a vital role in transforming students into socially engaged citizens. Being able to read and write means being able to keep up with current events, communicate effectively, and understand the issues that are shaping our world.

Reading has also been shown to have positive effects on at-risk children, tripling their resilience throughout life. Research has found that among at-risk children, boys, children living in remote or rural areas, and those with a physical, sensory, or learning disability have the most developmental disadvantage when it comes to literacy, so reading can really benefit them and their communities.

As a result, high literacy rates should be in everyone’s best interest, as it affects the way we function as societies at large – literacy has an impact on poverty, mental health, equality, the economy, and wider community developments. Overall, it is an essential building block in everyone’s life.

How literacy improves lives

There are many reasons that high literacy rates within communities are something to aspire to, and starting healthy reading habits in childhood will aid younger generations in driving these positive benefits. So how does literacy improve lives exactly?

Literacy reduces the risk of poverty

Lacking basic reading and writing skills is a tremendous disadvantage that is unfortunately all too often the reality for at-risk children (and sometimes not at-risk children too). A higher level of literacy not only enriches an individual’s life – through the powers of empathy, imagination, or critical thinking – but it creates opportunities for children to develop skills that will help them provide for themselves and their family later down the line.

Literacy results in economic growth

Having a love of reading and writing fostered from a young age is likely to lead to flourishing productivity in the future – thereby creating a generation of workforce ready to deal with economic challenges. As a result, higher literacy levels boost a community’s and therefore a country’s economic strength.

Literacy empowers girls and women

While young Australian girls are lucky enough to be able to receive the same level of education as boys, it shouldn’t go unnoted that high literacy rates amongst girls help them become economically productive and independent, so that they can become empowered and take control of their lives. The importance of education in fostering personal autonomy, and creative and critical thinking skills is central to the reason why literacy is so essential. It is also critical in a country where domestic abuse is an ever-growing problem, often disadvantageous to women. 

So why should you support Storyfest’s literacy programmes?

While you would think that Australia should be scoring high in education, a UNICEF report has found that Australia is ranked only 39th out of 41 EU/OECD countries in terms of quality education, with particular disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disabilities, and children from single parent households – children who are generally at risk of being left behind.

At Storyfest, we are on a mission to bring a love of reading and literature not only to Gold Coast children, but also children in regional Queensland towns. Programmes such as Storyfest Out West set out to mitigate those disadvantages experienced by rural children by bringing our beloved literary programmes to rural towns and therefore hopefully boosting literacy rates little by little.

Storyfest relies largely on donations to run the valuable and necessary children’s literacy programmes that we do. Through generous donations, we're able to offer many free community events and literally thousands of children the opportunity to embrace literature and develop critical minds through a love of reading, regardless of their backgrounds.

Help us continue to provide uniquely essential literary opportunities to the Gold Coast community and beyond! We invite you to join us on the journey to educate and nurture a love of reading in the next generation by making a tax-deductible donation to the Storyfest Development Fund, thereby supporting Australia’s path to higher literacy levels. 

Please consider donating to Storyfest here