The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation

Early language and literacy program Minto, New South Wales. June 2018 – June 2019

ALNF’s Early Language and Literacy (EL&L) Minto Project has been highly successful to date, and is strongly supported by participants, as well as parents, carers and the wider community at Waranwarin Early Childhood and Family Centre where the project is being delivered.

Funding from the James N. Kirby Foundation has enabled ALNF to train, mentor and resource 3 Indigenous educators to directly support 60 disadvantaged children to start school at the same baseline as their peers.

In the funding period, ALNF conducted 4 site visits to Minto in June and July 2018 and January and March 2019.

Each visit focused on a combination of the following objectives:

  • Mentoring and training community members and educators in the EL&L program.
  • Assisting with implementation of the program across learning environments and other needs.
  • Delivering parent and community workshops to present pre-literacy strategies, games and activities.
  • Assisting participants to conduct their own pre-literacy testing and analyse the results to implement appropriate strategies with children.
  • Distributing resources as required.

All participants were provided with personal teaching resources expressly designed to address children’s pre-literacy learning needs.

100% of participants who engaged in the program during the funding period have completed 4 Statements of Attainments towards a Certificate IV in Early Language and Literacy, and will be eligible to receive their Certificate IV after completing 100 hours of integrated EL&L practice.

The 3 Indigenous educators funded by the James N. Kirby Foundation have benefited from increased knowledge and skillsets, as well as improved pathways to employment through the acquisition of a Certificate IV.

In addition, Waranwarin Early Childhood and Family Centre was provided with over 200 books, and 84 Literacy Packs containing brand new, age appropriate stationery supplies to help children engage in home and school learning environments.

In Term 4, 2018, post-testing was conducted with participating children who had been pre-tested in Term 1, 2018 using the School Entry Alphabetic and Phonological Awareness Readiness Test (SEAPART). 86% of children improved their phonemic awareness, widely held to be one of the strongest single determinants of future reading success, and an essential precursor to strong literacy acquisition during school and in later life.

Pre-testing for 2019 was conducted in Term 1, with post-test results available at the end of Term 4, 2019.

Ayla, a young Indigenous educator who has been supported by your funding, continues to see the positive impacts of the EL&L program in her work with children at the centre:

“In the Jarjums room at Waranwarin we have seen a drastic improvement in the abilities of our children in relation to all areas of EL&L. We have seen children become more competent in letter shapes and have seen children making letters using playdough and identifying their sounds. Children have increased their oral language through our consistent use of the book packs for group times and exploring creative ways of telling their own stories with the use of the sentence cycle resource.

Overall the EL&L resources have helped our children become increasingly enthusiastic about their learning and has seen our children take big steps in their oral language and vocabulary development.”

Thank you for your support in ensuring that disadvantaged Indigenous children in Minto have the skills required to become confident lifelong learners.

Kim Kelly
Co-Founder and Executive Director