What is National Pyjama Day?

Who would have thought your humble jim jams, PJs or jammies could transcend the home-to-work environment to make such a powerful statement for children in foster care?

Some might consider the idea a ‘sleeper’ but the fact is that National Pyjama Day – this year on Friday, 22nd July – officially sanctions the idea of working or partying in your pyjamas for a good cause. On this day in particular it’s all about wearing your best bedtime attire to help The Pyjama Foundation raise much-needed awareness and funds for vulnerable children in foster care.

Wearing pyjamas during office hours is usually regarded as a perk of working from home, whether you’re working remotely from the office or in your own business. Stay-at-home parents and those whose businesses are internet based would also secretly enjoy this new-found freedom of dress code. Remaining in your PJs well after sun up gives new meaning to the idea of working in your sleep and it’s a lot of fun. Everyone should do it … at least once a year!

What more of an excuse do you need to legitimise the concept of wearing your pyjamas to work than the upcoming National Pyjama Day? It’s time now to organize a fund-raising pyjama party at work and get all your workmates to join in with their snuggly robes and cushy slippers, superhero PJ sets or onesie sleepers with attached fluffy bunny booties.

By wearing your favourite PJs and by making a donation to The Pyjama Foundation, you’ll be helping to make a difference to the lives of foster children. Money raised from National Pyjama Day will help to offer learning skills to more than 1000 children, fund educational resources and help provide stable, positive relationships.

There are now 43,000 children in foster care in Australia.  These children have been removed from their original homes for their own safety, and have often missed out on many positive experiences life has to offer. This pool of children also has the worst educational outcomes of any group of children in Australia (AIHW).  Statistics also show that 92% of children in foster care have below average reading skills by the time they are only seven years of age, and it is a struggle for them to catch up. The single most important activity you can do to improve your children’s literacy skills is to read books aloud to them. That is what The Pyjama Foundation does.

The Pyjama Foundation was founded in 2004 to make a positive impact on the lives of our community’s most vulnerable children. Alarmed at the statistics highlighting the poor literacy and numeracy levels of children in care, and how this contributes to a lifetime of disadvantage, Founder Bronwyn Sheehan was determined to make a difference. Bronwyn developed a program to ease some of the pressures on foster carers and empower these children to achieve positive outcomes.

The Pyjama Foundation has a learning-based mentoring program called the Love of Learning Program, which involves matching one adult with one child. Screened and trained volunteers, called ‘Pyjama Angels’, are matched with a child in foster care. They visit the same child every week, for 1.5 hours to read books aloud, play educational games and work on their numeracy skills. The volunteers help children develop their learning skills and perhaps more importantly, demonstrate that the child is valued as an individual.

Since its inception, The Pyjama Foundation has inspired many members of our community nationally to become volunteer Pyjama Angels, transforming the lives of children in care through literacy, numeracy and mentoring. Currently, 1,128 children in care are involved in the Love of Learning Program. Some volunteers have been with their child for eight years. The relationship which forms is fantastic, the children are often waiting on the footpath for their Pyjama Angel to arrive.

In 2015, 55,000 participants donned their Pyjamas and raised a total of $75,000. This year The Pyjama Foundation aims to raise $100,000 to help children in need receive the educational support they urgently need to achieve a better and brighter future.

To get involved, visit: www.thepyjamafoundation.com/nationalpyjamaday   Then get ready to wear your softest, cosiest or silliest nightwear on Friday, 22nd July and enjoy the luxurious freedom of working in your PJs for a good cause. One word of caution though: be mindful of how you are going to commute that day, particularly if you take public transport!

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