City of Ballarat Children’s and Youth Librarian Julie Bull helped create the Bulldogs Read program.
Julie says this year's program features about 80 students from Canadian Lead Primary School, Yuille Park Community College, St Columba’s School Ballarat and Ballarat Grammar.
“As a Children’s Librarian, I am absolutely passionate about children’s literacy,” she says.
“If you can encourage children on a good path early on with their literacy, you’re setting them up to be life-long learners."
Julie says there are no rules limiting what the students can read.
“They read what they feel comfortable with. The program provides them with a real–life immersion of literacy – it's reading and writing for a reason and their reviews are being published on the Bulldogs Read website.
“We once had Australian author Mem Fox see a student’s review for one of her books. She reached out and ended up sending an autographed book to that child to thank them for writing such a lovely review.
“The rapport that we have with the schools and teachers is fantastic. The Western Bulldogs players also take time out to support the children and read their reviews – they really want the kids to do well.”
Western Bulldogs Ballarat Engagement Manager Campbell Waring agrees.
"The Western Bulldogs are really proud to be involved in this unique program in Ballarat and hopefully, with the engagement of our activities and events for the students to attend, it assists in students’ reading and writing capabilities.”