G'day guys ,
Today I introduce you to an organisation that is trying to do some good for indigenous young people in this country - The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation. One word that has always cropped up in my conversations for decades is OPPORTUNITY. Why, because so many don't have it - especially kids. So, what does this organisation do?
The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation believes that positive and practical change to closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people starts with literacy and numeracy. Their vision is for a future where all Indigenous children can pursue quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the country.
The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation seeks to transform the lives of Indigenous children by focusing on literacy and numeracy education. Working in collaboration with local communities and partners, they develop literacy skills with Indigenous children so that they can succeed in school and beyond.
The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation is an independent not for profit, charitable organisation that relies on the generous support of the community to achieve its work.
Through their programs, the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation enacts the following core values:
- Passion and commitment for the rights of Indigenous children so they can have the same opportunities as non-Indigenous children
- A belief in the power of literacy as the most powerful tool we have to unlocking doors and conquering poverty
- A spirit of belonging, community, cooperation and active participation in the delivery of all activities
- A belief in the ability of Indigenous culture to inspire and guide Indigenous learning
- Empowerment of others so that they have the confidence and self determination to make choices and achieve their personal goals
- A belief in the importance of parent and community adult engagement in learning as a pathway to improving school outcomes
- A belief that all learning must be tailored to suit the environment and circumstances of regional communities
- A belief that all activities must be delivered in a manner that promotes learning in an enjoyable, engaging and safe environment
- A respect for Indigenous culture and traditional Indigenous education system.
What They Do
The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation provides weekly one-on-one literacy tutoring to Indigenous children struggling to make literacy gains at school. The Foundation provides Indigenous Literacy and Heritage Camps to fast track literacy and numeracy learning’s for significantly disadvantaged students. These programs are provided by a dedicated team of volunteers and paid tutors.
The Foundation also supplies books and literacy backpacks to children in remote communities to encourage them in their educational journey. They fund education scholarships for Indigenous young people to give them the best possible start and greater educational opportunities.
They conduct literacy testing for Indigenous children to enable early intervention and tailored support. Through many of the Foundation’s campaigns they create community awareness with the aim of closing the poverty gap.
Why They Do It
By almost all socio-economic indicators, Australia’s Indigenous young people are the most disadvantaged group in the nation.
The educational outcomes of Indigenous children are closely related to their opportunities for further education and employment. A lack of education can lead to a life of poverty, hopelessness, crime and despair.
For instance, completing year 10 or 11 increases an Indigenous person’s prospect of employment by 40%. Early intervention and support in literacy and numeracy skills is vital to keep Indigenous children engaged in education. Sadly, 87% of Indigenous children in regional and remote areas struggle to read and write and fall well below the national literacy benchmarks.
“There is an enormous gap in the English literacy rates of Indigenous and non- Indigenous people in Australia. The gap is even wider for Indigenous people living in remote and isolated communities.”
The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation works to minimise the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This gap emerges early, “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.”
Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)
"Rain on Uluru"
Research also shows that Indigenous homes have fewer books and educational resources. These factors are clearly linked to children’s achievements at school and in the development of English literacy skills.
The primary beneficiaries of the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation’s programs are Indigenous children aged between 8 and 16 years. They are identified by their school or community as some of the most disadvantaged Indigenous students experiencing major learning difficulties. Common characteristics of these communities include: low levels of education, high unemployment, low income, high dependence on government support, poor health and nutrition. The youth are disengaged in education with schools in the region experiencing low attendance rates, children are less likely to remain in education beyond year 8, literacy and numeracy levels are low.
Clearly the priority of the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation is to provide ongoing literacy programs and opportunities for Indigenous young people through education and community based initiatives such as the Books for Learning Program, Literacy & Heritage Camps, Literacy Resource Packs and Support Services, Literacy Testing, Research and Evaluation.
What Can We Do?
Over the past year, the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation collaborated, networked and created greater public awareness in the wider Australian community. The Foundation understands the importance of working together in the sector and using our limited resources wisely for the best possible outcomes.
It also appreciates the ongoing support from their wonderful team of 30 volunteers who provide the organisation an estimated 2000 hours of time in tutoring, administration duties and general support per year.
Creating Community Awareness
Through extended media exposure and community fundraising, the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation is creating community awareness for the Indigenous community and also promoting ‘closing the gap’.
Your company can invest directly to support the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation’s greatest need or you can earmark the donation to a specific program. If you are interested in making a direct contribution to the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can suggest the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation for corporate funding, or connect our staff with the right people within the fundraising department. The Foundation is always looking to expand and diversify their funding base, and it would welcome introductions to any corporate foundation that is interested in supporting educational and social projects for Indigenous Australians. Please contact the Foundation via email at email@example.com for more information.
Healthy Living book series
The Healthy Living books series is a set of four early reading books that have been
especially written and designed for young Aboriginal children. Set in the Australian outback, Aboriginal characters in each book explore themes related to healthy and happy lifestyles.
80,000 of these books will be sent out to children in remote Aboriginal communities all over Australia. The books will address the lack of culturally relevant books available to Indigenous children in the early reading years.
Each book features beautifully painted and brightly-coloured Indigenous cover art.
Each cover reflects the themes and subjects of each book.
What We Eat explains all the good and healthy things you can eat. It tells the story of bush tucker gathering and features different types of bush food and sweet berries. Yum! And this food is not only delicious, it makes you healthy and happy too.
Feeling Good focuses on all the things great and small that make you feel good. These include playing, running and jumping. You can also spend time with friends and family, and show kindness to each other. And don’t forget to smile! This story encourages sociable and friendly behaviour.
What We Smell is about the special sense in your nose. The story shows how your nose can smell nice things like a rose, the hot earth after rain, or bush tucker being cooked on a fire. But your nose can also sniff out bad things like stale fruit … or smoke, which is a fire warning!
Safe Play explores themes of playing safely and in a friendly way with friends and family. The story covers issues including crossing the road and playing carefully. It encourages you to share and be happy when playing with others.
The book series will make a difference in the following ways:
1. Aboriginal children will discover the joy
of reading... fast!
These books use the tried and tested Fantastic Phonics method. This proven literacy program had children in other countries learning three years of language skills in one
2. Aboriginal children will learn healthy
living skills that prevent disease and save lives.
Indigenous children under 5 die at almost three times the rate of non-Indigenous kids. This is partly due to lack of health information and education in Aboriginal families. They just don’t know the basics about proper nutrition, basic hygiene and safety. But these subjects are all covered in these culturally relevant readers.
3. Aboriginal children will acquire digital
The Healthy Living book series will be converted to e-book format. Aboriginal children can
learn to read using this digital format at their schools.
These children must have technology skills. They’ll need them to keep up and compete with
non-Indigenous kids for further education and jobs in future.
The book series has been written, illustrated and designed. We are now calling on generous supporters and members of the public to help ensure that 80,000 books are printed and delivered to 20,000 Aboriginal children in remote communities, early in the 2013 school
* LINKS FOR FOUNDATION *
Clancy's comment: Sounds like a top idea, eh? Anything that helps kids, any kids, to have a chance in life and reach their full potential deserves praise. Don't forget ... you can donate products or services to support the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation. To donate other in-kind gifts, such as pre-loved children’s books, or computer software, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. So, if you have books or computer software, get cracking.
Copyright clancy Tucker (c)
'Sunset, Northern Territory'