SPOTLIGHT ON… Indigenous Australian Authors: Indigenous Literacy Foundation

ILF

Indigenous Literacy Foundation – Book Buzz

Early literacy development in a child’s life is an important time for enjoying the world of story-telling and instilling a lifelong love of books.

The Book Buzz project aims to raise literacy levels of babies and toddlers living in remote communities.  Drawing on current research in literacy, it recognises the need for early experience and contact with quality books at the earliest possible age.

 

Why is early literacy so important?

The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students emerges early and in remote and isolated communities, this gap is even wider (find out why here.) Non-Indigenous students far out-perform Indigenous students in benchmark tests for reading, writing and numeracy in Year 3 and Year 5. By Year 7, the gap has widened, particularly for numeracy. (DEET NT 2006)

Indigenous homes, particularly those in remote communities, have fewer books, computers and other educational resources than non-Indigenous homes, making it very difficult for young children to have the kind of continuous contact with books and reading that is necessary for developing early literacy skills. Book Buzz packs are donated both to the schools and to families with young children, by which we hope to instill the personal love of books and story that we in the bookselling industry enjoy, as well as promoting their accessibility as an educational tool.

In the Northern Territory, only one in five children living in very remote Indigenous communities can read at the accepted minimum standard. By Year 7, just 15% achieved this benchmark, 47 percentage points behind their urban Indigenous peers and 74 percent less than non-Indigenous students. (DEET NT 2006)

More than half of Indigenous families living in very remote communities speak an Indigenous language in the home. (ABS, 2001) Their children need extra assistance at school and from the community to learn English as a second language – we hope to provide the tools for the communities to be able to give the extra help needed.

 

How the Book Buzz project works

Book Buzz provides families, babies and preschool children with access to a wonderful set of early childhood books. These books are selected by an Indigenous literacy specialist in consultation with childrens’ book specialists and key contacts and elders within our remote communities. Once in community, our Foundation responds to and works with requests from the community on how these resources may best be used.  In one community, we have translated a selected of books into first language and in another, produced a resource for parents.

The program was launched at the end of 2009 in Manyallaluk (east of the Katherine Region) and in is now running in four communities including Wilcannia (North West NSW), Warburton (WA) and Yakanarra (WA). A second pack of Book Buzz books was selected and sent out to our four communities recently to provide variety and additional resources in these communities.

 

Book Buzz

Early literacy development in a child’s life is an important time for enjoying the world of story-telling and instilling a lifelong love of books.

The Book Buzz project aims to raise literacy levels of babies and toddlers living in remote communities. Drawing on current research in literacy, it recognises the need for early experience and contact with quality books at the earliest possible age.

 

How the Book Buzz project works

Book Buzz provides families, babies and preschool children with access to a wonderful set of early childhoos books. These books are selected by an Indigenous literacy specialist in consultation with childrens’ book specialists and key contacts and elders within our remote communities. Once in community, our Foundation responds to and works with requests from the community on how these resources may best be used. In one community, we have translated a selection of books into first language and in another, produced a resource for parents.

 

Make a difference! Donate a Book Buzz pack today.

 

Source: http://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/

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