Hook into Books

The Hook into Books Campaign

Literacy and numeracy are fundamental building blocks for children and young people’s educational achievement, their lives outside school and engagement with society, and their future employment prospects.

Literacy and numeracy skills have been positively associated with educational attainment in adulthood. Weak literacy and numeracy skills can lead to disadvantage in terms of limited access to desirable employment opportunities or unemployment (OECD 2017). Australia’s performance in the 2011–12 Survey of Adult Skills was average to very good; however, 1 in 5 Australians had low literacy and/or numeracy skills, with numeracy a challenge (OECD 2017).

Literacy and numeracy and knowledge of key disciplines are the cornerstone of schooling for young Australians. They are 2 of the 7 general capabilities included in the Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum.

Several factors affect successful educational outcomes during the school years, including a child’s home environment, such as if books are available at home and if parents read aloud to their children. Children whose parents read to them every day at 2–3-year old’s had on average higher Year 3 NAPLAN reading scores, than children whose parents read to them less frequently.

School factors that affect outcomes can include:

  • quality of schooling
  • availability of interventions and support
  • student commitment
  • proximity of the school and other educational facilities to students’ homes (ACARA 2015).

There are particularly vulnerable groups within this cohort, including Indigenous young people. The Closing the gap in literacy and numeracy national minimum standard achievement rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children was a key priority of the Closing the Gap framework established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2018 and continues to be a priority.

Hook into Books is a Campaign designed to highlight the many young Australians who struggle everyday with their literacy capability. Hook into Book shines a light on these young Australians who experience daily barriers to accessing meaningful, appropriate educational opportunities and have experienced disrupted educational journeys for a range of complex reasons.

Hook into Books is an opportunity to have a conversation about these young people who are slipping through the cracks in our education systems. A real opportunity to highlight these young people who are expected to contribute positively to society yet have not been given an equal opportunity to thrive and grow like their peers.

Hook into Books aims to change the lives of these young people, one page at a time.

During the months of July, through to October 2020 our aim is to get the word out – that being literate is essential to positive life outcomes. We aim to increase societal awareness that there are many young people today, who continue to experience significant educational disadvantage.

Our Ambassador

Click to hear Sam’s Hook into Books Welcome 2020! 

Samantha Wheeler

Samantha Wheeler studied Agriculture, worked with dairy farmers, and taught science, before writing her first children’s book, inspired by koalas, in 2011. Her
books, which include Smooch & Rose, Wombat Warriors, Mister Cassowary, and Turtle Trackers have been shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, the
Readings Book Prize, The Wilderness Society Environmental Award and the Royal Zoological Society, Whitley Commendation. Her most recent story, Everything I’ve Never Said, was inspired by her youngest daughter, who has Rett Syndrome and can’t talk. Samantha hopes her books will inspire everyone to speak up and make a difference.

Samantha has begun building relationships within the Youth+ Flexible Learning Centres and has a passion for promoting a range of diverse literature engagement opportunities for young people. Through her work, Samantha knows first hand how important good literacy is, how important it is to expose children and young people to literature and to support a love of reading.

The Youth Plus Foundation is honoured to join with Sam as it endeavours on a National Campaign to highlight the importance of literacy in our everyday lives and promote a love of reading and the joy that can be experienced by losing yourself in reading! Check out Sam’s website here 

Campaign Champions – Check out our supporters here 

Key Messages of the Campaign

  • Education is a human right and we all have a role to play in the education of our young people
  • We will positively expose young people to high quality literature that meet their needs
  • It is fundamental to bridge the gaps in young people’s literacy experiences
  • A functional society requires a contributing community – young people are our future – we need to nurture and support their capacity to positively contribute
  • Literacy skills enable young people to engage in learning and ultimately fully participate and lead productive lives
  • Knowledge is power, education is freedom
  • It’s in everyone’s interest to make sure our young people get the best education possible

Key Facts of the Campaign

  • Research shows that highly developed numeracy and literacy capabilities strongly contribute to the social, economic and physical wellbeing of individuals (1)
  • The Building blocks for literacy start very early in life and a child’s early literacy skills are a predictor of later literacy and academic achievement (2)
  • A number of factors affect successful educational outcomes during the school year such as a young person’s home environment (including whether books are available at home and whether parents read aloud to their children. (3)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are considered more developmentally vulnerable in each of the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) measures than non-Indigenous children, with a higher proportion of children living in very remote areas considered developmentally vulnerable in each of the AEDI measures (4)
  • 46% of adult Australians cannot function effectively in a knowledge-based economy, due to poor literacy (5)
  • 50% of 15 to 24-year-olds are unable to read to an adequate level to properly function in society (6)
  • 50% of our language is learned by three years of age (7)
  • 93% of children in out-of-home care are behind their peers academically (8)

Campaign Logo

It’s important the campaign brand and message are used consistently to build awareness. You may wish to add the campaign logo to other materials you produce.

Campaign social media posts

Copy and paste the share graphics, or adapt or add a comment as you see fit to add to your social media posts #hookintobooks


Suggested tweets you can use to support the campaign #hookintobooks  Tweets

Download a Hook into Books – Supporters Pack 2020 here! 


  • Catch-a-flexi-reader an online photo sharing competition operating across Flexible Learning Centres. Students are encouraged to ‘catch’ someone reading at home, in the community or at school and take artistic, unidentified photos to be shared via the #catchaflexireader,
  • Travelling suitcase – A stocked Suitcase that has been traveling to Flexible Learning Centres across Australia, containing a range of YA resources – books, magazines and audiobooks,
  • Young Writing Workshops – A recorded series of writing workshops designed to get your creative juices flowing and practice your storytelling delivered by our very own #hookintobooks Ambassador, Samantha Wheeler
  • Creative Writing & Illustrating Competition an opportunity to win great prizes and continue pieces to the Flexi Anthology.
  • For Reading out loud! online book review and sharing activity
  • #australiareadsathome An activity to support National Reading Hour – on November 12 the Y+F will host an online silent reading party! https://readinghour.org.au/
  • Young Illustrators Workshops a recorded series walking students through a step-by-step guide to creating your own comic.


  • DYI Book Club – A step-by-step guide to setting up your own online book-club.
  • A selection of creative writing toolkits and worksheets- to use in your own time, at your own pace!


(1) Department for Education and Child Development, (2013) Numeracy and literacy a numeracy and literacy strategy from birth to 18. Adelaide: Government of South Australia (Department for Education and Child Development).

(2) Neuman, S.B., Dickinson, D. K (eds) (2010). Handbook of early literacy research. The Guildford press: New York.

(3) Walsh L & Black R, (2009). Overcoming the barriers to engagement and equity for all students. Canberra: Foundation for Young Australians.

(4) http://video.wch.org.au/aedi/ National_Report-March_2011_Reissue_final.pdf Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) National Report 2009, Re-issue – March 2011 Pg 12 (Summary of key findings)

(5) http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4228.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007, Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, Summary Results, Australia, cat. no. 4228.0, ABS, Canberra.

(6) http://www.abs.gov.au/ AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Chapter6102008 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, Australian social trends 2008 Australia, cat. No 4102.0, ABS, Canberra

(7) http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/ assets/0000/7883/Updated_Strategic_Guidance_Paper.pdf Hamer, Dr Cathy, Guidance for developing a strategic approach to speech, language and communication in the early years. Talk to Your Baby, National Literacy Trust, updated February 2011

(8) McDowall, J. (2018). Out-of-Home Care in Australia. Children and young people’s views after five years of national standards. Create Foundation


Megan HallHook into Books