HELPING AUSTRALIAN FAMILIES MANAGE THE ‘DISRUPTED EDUCATION’ CHILDREN ARE ENCOUNTERING
Nearly one in five Australian children don’t meet the international benchmark for reading (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study). This number worryingly increases even further for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children of Refugee background. Through its latest ‘Story Time’ Project, the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) is giving children and families from these communities the opportunity to enjoy the magic of storytelling.
The aim of the Story Time Project is to help inspire families to make their homes as a place where reading is commonplace and a favourite childhood activity. As well as its allies and corporate partners, ALNF’s celebrity ambassadors will be joining the Story Time initiative, and include Buddy and Jesinta Franklin, Adam Goodes and Danzal Baker (aka Baker Boy).
The ambassadors will be recording videos of themselves reading their favourite children’s books. These videos will then be hosted on Instagram TV on the ALNF’S Instagram page as well as alnf.org/storytime and will be accessible for all families.
ALNF recognises that this is a challenging and distressing time for families as school closures across the country have disrupted the education of millions of children. Particularly for those in lower socio-economic communities who risk falling further behind in developing the critical literacy and numeracy skills they need to reach their full potential in life. Within Australia, students from disadvantaged families are five times more likely than their more affluent classmates to perform poorly at school.
Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, Kim Kelly, said: “Families around the country have experienced the shock of COVID-19 and the impact it has had on their children’s access to education. Unfortunately, this is an everyday reality for a number of underprivileged communities in Australia. Through our Story Time Project, we want to help create new memories through the magic of story time and bridge the education gap for all families during this strange and difficult time. Most importantly, we’re aiming to bring attention to this reality that some families face.”
The Story Time Project is a part of the ongoing online training, mentoring and support programs from ALNF to support children and their families break the cycle of trans-generational illiteracy, particularly in Indigenous, refugee and marginalised communities.
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