Presentation on theme: "Early literacy in Indigenous communities"— Presentation transcript:
1Early literacy in Indigenous communities Sharon FosterAcknowledge:The partnership that supports this programInaugural corporate supporterThe funding from Queensland Government, Department of CommunitiesInaugural corporate supporter
2Presentation outline The importance of early literacy Explaining Let’s ReadAbout family consultationsin indigenous communitiesThis slide is to give an overview of the areas you will talk about during the session
3Why is reading important? Being literate is a core skill that impacts onthe individual’s employment opportunities and quality of lifeimpacts on the prosperity of Australia.Approximately 48% of the adultpopulation in Australia are illiterateor have a poor level of literacy.Set the scene about the importance of being able to readLow literacy equals poor self esteem, higher school drop out, lower employment, higher teenage pregnancy, higher suicide48 % of the population with poor and very poor literacy skills. This equates to nearly half (6.2 million) of Australians aged17-74 have literacy difficulties.28% poor – functional literacy - read forms etc20 % very poor - would have considerable trouble with everyday printed material such as newspapersThese are the families we need to reach – they will not willingly pick up a bookPossible causes of poor literacy are:Lack of access to materials in the homeLack of literacy activitiesParental time constraints to engage in literacyLow levels of literacy can mean:Low self esteemUnlikely to enjoy reading and won’t do it, falling further behindPoor performance at school reduces opportunitiesGenerally have lower employment and social outcomesHigher risk of welfare dependency
4Literacy Levels and Physical and Mental Health - USA (Quantitative) Health ProblemsMental or Emotional ProblemsLong-term IllnessPercentThis shows that in the US there is a strong relationship between literacy capability and health status. This is not surprising since brain development in the early years influences the brain pathways that affect health and literacy at the later stages of life.Access to information and services.Dietary information on food packagingPrescription medication, following instructionsReading tables, maps, recipes, signs, timetables, directions, s, sms….Filling out forms, finding informationLiteracy LevelNALS, p. 44, 2002
5Why is reading with young children important? The building blocks to help children learn to read and write when they get to school are developed before they get to school.These are known as emergent literacy skills.The building blocks are formed long before a child starts school – based on emergent literacy skills and this includes:Language abilitiesVocabulary both expressive and receptiveUnderstanding narrative and storyBeing capable of explanatory talkLetter identification / knowledgeKnowing the names and corresponding sounds of letters which is essentially the basis of the alphabetic principlePhonological awareness / sensitivityThe ability to identify and manipulate sound in spoken languageKnowing nursery rhymesConventions of printUnderstanding writing functions understanding left-to-right, top-to-bottom directions of print on each page with print progressing from front to back across pagesLiteracy environmentsHaving favorite books,library visitsnumber of books in the home,other home literacy activities,shared book readingThe concept of emergent literacy skills is raised several times throughout the presentation. The parent sheets that are given in the one to one interactions also promote the emergent literacy skills. The read aloud session will also need to reinforce these skills/attributes where possible in that setting.These are reinforced on the next slideStill working on a handout on this issue – something simple for the volunteers, but it is not included yet.
6Emergent Literacy Skills Reading aloud helps to developLanguage abilities – the amount of words they know and useLetter identification / knowledge - knowing the names and sounds of lettersPhonological awareness / sensitivity – being able to identify and manipulate sounds in the spoken wordsAn understanding of the conventions of print - left-to-right, top-to-bottom, from front to back across pagesA strong bond between the parent and child, which helps them get along with other people later in life.This should be reinforced by the handout - Emergent Literacy Skills
7Why is reading with young children important? Learning to:talk is “experience expectant” – wehear it so we learn itread is “experience dependent” – we have to see it to learn itLanguage is acquired because we are surrounded by it all the time – experience expectant.Literacy is only developed if we are exposed to it – experience dependantThis is why it is important to read with young children. They need to be exposed to this activity. They will learn about reading by seeing others, and being involved in the activity with others. Some children get more exposure than others and this makes a difference to how they begin their educational experience when they start school.Typical middle class child enters first grade with 1,000 – 1,700 hours of one to one picture book readingChildren from a low income family averages just 25 hours (Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA:MIT Press.)
8Why is starting early important? Children who struggle with reading when they get to school are:unlikely to catch up to their peers,more likely to dislike reading,read less, and thus fall furtherbehind.
10Literacy divideTypical middle class child enters first grade with 1,000 – 1,700 hours of one to one picture book readingChildren from a low income family averages just 25 hoursAdams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: thinkingand learning about print. Cambridge,MA:MIT Press.
11Why is reading aloud with young children important? When you are reading aloud with a young child (under 5) you are not trying to “teach” the child to read before they begin school, but rather helping him or her to develop the building blocks and a love of books.Stress that we are not trying to teach children to read before school. Some (a few) children do learn to read before school, but for the majority of children they are developmentally not ready to read before school, and this is quite normal. What we trying to do is give them the best start.
12Every parent wants to do the best for their child
13What is Let’s Read?Let's Read is a universal program based on research designed to promote reading aloud with young children birth - 5 years.Let’s Read encourages parentsto have fun reading with theiryoung children, to develop thebuilding blocks that will helpchildren learn to read andwrite when they get to school.Let’s Read is a program designed to promote reading with children from birth to 5It is designed to support and encourage parents and carers to read aloud with their childUniversal – suitable for all families and children – not just targetedEvidenced based – looking at the research to show us what will make a difference – not just a good ideaParents want to know how to read to their very young child – what to do with the book to be able to capture the child’s interest - especially those parents who weren’t read to as children or who have poor literacyDefinitely about having fun with young childrenIs about encouragement – not guilt
14Effective early literacy program From the research:Shared readingBuilt upon an emergent literacy frameworkProfessional involvement to convey guidance messages and model shared reading practicesCommunity wide delivery and or easy accessibility to age appropriate free booksCommunity involvement to assist in promotion and sustainability
15About Let’s Read The Let’s Read program has two parts: Support given to parents on a one to one basisParents need clear and simple information, as well as being shown read aloud techniques.The messages about reading needs to be given to a parent more than once,The best person to support a parent is a community based person that the family trusts.The people to support and work with families should be trained and provided with high quality resources to give to parents.Community activitiesCreate opportunities for young children and their families to be involved in community based early literacy activities, continuing to promote the importance of readingThe Let’s Read program has two parts:1. Support to be given to parents on a one to one basis.Parents need to understand the importance of reading with their young child and how to do it. They need to have clear and simple information, as well as being shown the techniques – “Share and Show”. We learn more when something is shown to us, as well as explained.Let’s Read is designed to be delivered at four points during a child’s development, these being from 4 months, 12 months, 18 months and 3½ years. The “Share and Show” about reading to a young child needs to be given to a parent more than once, because:The messages given to the parent needs to relate to the age of their child,To get anyone to try something new, they need to be given ongoing encouragement and support.The best person to “Share and Show” with a parent to promote the reading messages is a community based person that the family trusts. This means that lots of different people within a community should promote the reading messages, so that all families can be reached. Different families trust and respect different people and professionals to give them advice and support in raising their child.The people that “Share and Show” should be trained and provided with high quality resources (see next page) to give to parents. This will help make sure that parents get consistent and accurate messages. Let’s Read provides training for people and has age specific parent information sheets to reinforce the messages. There is also a DVD to encourage parents, and this includes some books being read aloud. The DVD is great for parents/carers that are illiterate or have a low literacy level.2. Community activitiesCreate opportunities for young children and their families to be involved in community based early literacy activities, and promote the importance of reading aloud to young children.This involves mature aged volunteers offering read aloud sessions
16Resources to give to families – in one to one interactions Parent information sheets to reinforce messages – age specificBooklists – age specificDVDA bookA reader bagThe volunteers do not do this part, but should be aware of it and understand that they need to reinforce the emergent literacy messages.
17A program designed to teach children to read Let’s Read is NOTA program designed to teach children to readA set of resources that can be used how ever people likeA one - off eventIt should be clear that Let’s Read is not just the resources, but a commitment by the community to want to make a difference for children and their familiesThe importance of the volunteers ongoing community activities can be reinforced here.
18Feasibility Study Results 97% of parents reported the DVD reinforced the messages received from the child health nurseOver 80% of parents reported that the “read aloud” books have helped in reading books with their children97% parents reported having read the book95% parents reported having read the book more than once94% of parents reported that their child liked the book9% of parents have purchased at least 1 book since receiving the booklist
19Current implementation 52 communities across AustraliaTasmanian Department of Education – Read for Life – all children under 5 yearsQueensland Department of Communities – Reading to Children – 11 LGA
20Why undertake family consultations in indigenous communities? To find out:what is currently happening in the communitywhat are the families expectations andaspirationswhether Let’s Read is “acceptable”To make recommendations aboutpossible ways forward.
21Undertaking family consultations Families invited to participateLocal person acts as the consultantCompleted on a one-to-one basisVenue determined by mutual agreementTake about 45 minutesResults recorded by consultantGiven Let’s Read pack to keep
22Undertaking family consultations Areas involved:WA – Pilbara – 74 familiesQLD – Cape York, Torres Strait, Far North Queensland – 250 familiesVIC – still to be determined
23Family consultation questions About the questions:Family backgroundHome language and literacyCare and educationCommunity involvementAbout the Let’s Read resources
24Family backgroundTo gain some simple family demographics, and potentially identify whether the number of people in the household impacts on the opportunity to read aloud with a young child.
27Home language and literacy To obtain an insight into the range of languages / dialects that are spoken in the family homes and which of these can be read and written.It is important to be cognisant of languages used at home and how to support the family to promote these languages but also ensure the child is ready for the school experience and gets the most from it.
28Home language and literacy Pilbara – 74 families 17 languages / dialects – including EnglishOne taught at primary schoolOne taught at primary school and secondary school10 indigenous languages could be read and written
51Implementation challenges Starting earlyProviding a multipoint interventionMessenger and the messageReaching the most hard to reachWorking in collaboration not competitionBuilding sustainabilityDetermining how “success” will be measured
52Contact Details Sharon Foster Centre for Community Child Health Murdoch Children’s Research InstituteRoyal Children’s Hospital, Melbourneor