Grey nomads and tourists are helping isolated children in outback Queensland read more books.

For children living in outback Queensland, the chance to get to the local library is limited.

But a "Books for the Bush" program running in the western town of Longreach is seeing hundreds of books being donated by tourists as they travel the inland.

The Parents and Citizens Association (PCA) at the Longreach School of Distance Education runs the program.

The school draws its students from an area about twice the size of Victoria.

The class is run in front of tourists and grey nomads, who can then buy books to supplement the school's library.

Tourist Jenny Tully, from north-east Victoria, says getting a first-hand appreciation of the isolation prompted her to see how the School of the Air works.

"I never envisaged - there wasn't a town we flew over yesterday, it was just stations," she said.

"That's why I came here because it just hit home that these kids are so isolated.

"I thought it was just a very practical way to help them after coming here and seeing what they do - it is magic. "

Tour coordinator Colleen Nicholls says distance education can be more expensive because of the high use of technology.

She says book donations are up 33 per cent in the first six months of this year, compared to the same time last year.

"We found that our library was not getting fully stocked for the books that we needed, so through this program, we can supply the children with the newest books," she said.

Ms Nicholls says that is helping to divert funding to other areas.

"It is just because it is a lovely program - you know where your money is going," she said.

"There are a lot of people who want to just donate.

"The way that we deliver our lessons and conduct our school is a little bit more expensive - there is a very high use in technology.

"Taking the funding and putting it in more areas that are going to benefit the children, that is basically what this Books for the Bush Program allows us to do."

Ms Nicholls says they are making a difference for remote children.

"Just amazing how compassionate our visitors really are," she said.

"We had a gentleman last year, who just gave us $200 and said 'I want all these in books'.

"It's overwhelming the response that we go get.

"I think it is because it is just such a lovely program - there are a lot of people who do want to just donate."

Mother of three Rachael Webster has children studying via the School of Distance Education from the family station, west of Longreach.

"The opportunity it provides for the kids is amazing - they just have access to so many books," she said.

"Also I think it is just a great lesson for the children to learn about the generosity of others, so it gives in so many ways."

 

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