In 2015 more than 5000 children’s books were generously and abundantly donated by the public to the No Bars on Books campaign in Tasmania.
These book donations were then passed on to the prison’s wonderful, and long-standing, Books-on-CD program. In the Books-on-CD program, prisoners are voice-recorded as they read a children’s book. A CD is then produced and their children receive a copy of the book and the CD with mummy or daddy’s voice reading the story. And the children keep the CD and the book.
The donated books which were of the highest quality were given to LINC Tasmania and are being funnelled through the library system to the Books-on-CD program.
But those books which were a little more dog-earred or worn, but which were still respectfully usable, continue to be delivered each Friday, box by box, to Risdon prison for give away to the children of prisoners.
No Bars on Books was initiated by Speech Pathology Australia-Tasmania Branch. After initial sorting of the fabulous donations, Speech Pathology Australia-Tasmania Branch passed the responsibility of the second-grade books to Chatter Matters. We are delighted to inform the public that these books are still faithfully making their way into the hands of prisoners’ children.
Our thanks remain with the original partners of this campaign: Speech Pathology Australia, 936ABC Hobart, LINC Tasmania, Tasmania’s Education Department, Tasmania Prison Service, and many private businesses around Tasmania which acted as collection points for the books.