ALNF is proud to be working with Indigenous communities through the Community Action Support (CAS) program in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory. The program incorporates a variety of activities to foster increased engagement and confidence in language and literacy of high school and primary school students. Activities include the Cross Generational Literacy Initiative, a Writers’ Festival and Camp, and Community Literacy Projects.
Cross Generational Literacy Initiative
Since 2009, the ALNF has facilitated the Cross Generational Literacy Initiative in Tennant Creek (NT) schools in partnership with the Papulu Apparr-Kari Indigenous Language Centre. Through the Cross Generational Literacy Initiative, Indigenous high school students are mentored by the ALNF and community elders as they provide valuable reading and writing support for children at the local primary school. The ALNF program provides schools, community members and participating high school students with the resources and encouragement they need to be effective in their literacy teaching in both English and First Language. The young people participating in the CAS program are viewed as positive role models and they become agents of change in their communities.
Writers’ Workshop and Camp
In 2013, the ALNF published the inaugural Coming to Voice anthology of writing from children and young people in the Barkly region. Since then, the ALNF has coordinated week-long Writers’ Workshops and Camps to help foster a community of young authors.
By engaging local and external writers to facilitate a range of workshops to encourage storytelling, poetry, local history and more, the young writers involved use their developing language and literacy skills and own experiences to produce literature that can be shared with their local and wider community.
“My kids have been really empowered to see themselves as competent worthwhile creative writers. The trip to Tennant Creek was an enormous success”. Classroom Teacher, Borroloola, NT.
Community Literacy Projects
Student teachers from the University of Western Sydney have lent their experience to support activities between the high school students and the primary school children in Tennant Creek and nearby Elliott and Mungkarta. During this time these skilled individuals help the ALNF run community projects that foster literacy through a range of activities – including art, drama and local journalism. Each activity seeks to explore the key issues that are at the heart of the community.
An interactive online resource library and discussion forum has been developed so that teachers, students and student teachers can access resources, post comments, and make suggestions.
To date, CAS has involved elders, community members and students from Borroloola, Tennant Creek, Elliot, Alekarenge and Mungkarta.
Past and present partners include Papulu Apparr-Kari Indigenous Language Centre, Barkly Regional Education Office, the University of Western Sydney, Sweatshop Writers’ Collective, the Red Room Company and local schools.