Wollondilly locals hide books around shire to brighten kids' days

Keeping children occupied and entertained during lockdown can be difficult.

But these helpful locals want to help out fellow parents by hiding books at parks across the shire to encourage reading and put a smile on kids' faces.

Wollondilly's Maria Morton and Jessica Beazley are taking part in the Book Hunter initiative.

Ms Beazley said she initially saw the idea on Facebook and decided to bring it to the shire.

"I used to live in the Sutherland Shire so I follow a lot of different community groups and the idea flashed up on my newsfeed and I just thought it was a great initiative," she said.

"I love making stuff, and I work with kids at Wilton Public School, and I just thought it was a great way to entertain kids in lockdown too.

"So my kids and I went out and dropped some books at local parks with a bit of a message about what Book Hunter is and I shared it on Facebook."

Ms Beazley said her daughters had a lot of books they wanted to donate to the cause.

"My kids and I love reading and we just had so many books," she said.

"We decided that if we could bless others with the gift of a new book then we would."

Ms Beazley's Facebook post inspired fellow shire local Maria Morton to get involved with Book Hunter

"I just thought it was a great way to show kids that the community is there for them in a tough time," Ms Morton said.

"I do PAWS Pet Therapy's Paws and Tales program which is where kids read books to my dog so I had some spare books lying around.

"So we decided to leave a few books around local parks for the kids to find.

"It gets them off the couch and into the community to help get them reading and writing again."

Ms Beazley said Book Hunter allowed locals to get out and about safely and gave kids something to look forward to.

"I think it's another way for families to get a bit of an escape from what is going on," she said.

"And it's an exciting way to get kids out there in the hope that they mind find something.

"It's also a great way to give back to the community."