Ballarat mother Rebecca Garlick loves seeing her 22-month-old daughter Charlotte walk around the house with a book rather than a toy under her arm.
Charlotte is growing up in a household that is fostering a love of reading with the support of the Ballarat Reads program.
As part of the program, Charlotte will receive an age-appropriate book in the mail box once a month until she turns five.
She has a whole play room full of toys and she will often choose a book instead.Rebecca Garlick
"I love that Charlotte walks around with books," Ms Garlick said.
"She has a whole play room full of toys and she will often choose a book instead of them. She is always bugging us to get us to read her a story.
"She already knows those early concepts; she can turn pages, she is making up her own stories and she will chat to herself as she is reading the stories. Having that foundation is really important and hopefully that learning will continue when she does go to school."
The Ballarat Foundation funds the Ballarat Reads program in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
The program is free for parents to enrol any child. The money to pay for the books and postage is raised by the community through the Ballarat Foundation. Books and delivery costs $180 per child, per year.
Ballarat Foundation chief executive Matt Jenkins said the foundation's biggest community fundraising event Dancing With Our Stars would support more children to access programs like Ballarat Reads.
"We know literacy is so important in helping young children get off to a great start at school," he said.
"To be able to deliver books into the letterboxes of the children on the program is a wonderful way to build that love of literacy. Many of the families involved in that program wouldn't normally build the library they are building through the Ballarat Reads program. By the end of the program each child will have 60 books in their library."
The Ballarat Foundation focuses on four key pillars: school readiness, youth success, housing security and food security. Ballarat Foundation learner driver mentor program L2P is also seeking more funding to keep up with demand for support.
VicRoads is providing support to expand the program by another 50 places. Mr Jenkins said fundraising events like Dancing With Our Stars help the foundation to cover the $1000 shortfall for each place.
"The foundation is reliant upon the generosity of the community and is not funded by government," he said.
The Ballarat Foundation is aiming to raise $100,000 by the end of community fundraising event Dancing With Our Stars on Saturday night and was sitting close to $83,500 on Friday night.