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Making Connections: Better Beginnings, Partnerships and Collaborations.

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2 Making Connections: Better Beginnings, Partnerships and Collaborations

3  Supporting and involving parents in their children’s early literacy learning  Introducing children to developmentally appropriate books and literacy activities  Raising awareness of the value of reading to children  Linking families to library resources and services that provide positive early literacy experiences for their children Growing up with Better Beginnings

4 140 Local governments Delivery Partners 232 Libraries 310 Community health centres 110 Remote Aboriginal communities 420 Schools 60,000 families involved annually 200,000 families reached to date 4 Education sector 5 Government sector 8 Non-Government sector State Government of WA Dept of Regional Development and Lands WA Local Governments Rio Tinto Funding Partners Supporting Partners from little things….

5 How the program works  Free reading packs for every child at birth and starting school  Literacy resources including Discovery Backpacks, Storytime Boxes, Read Aloud Book Sets, online literacy databases  Family rhyme and story sessions  Training and support resources for practitioners  Library outreach to new parent groups, schools, child-care centres  Family literacy collections and parent information sessions in libraries Children up to the age of five who have had limited exposure to printed language and who have not been read to...have increased risk for reading failure and general poor school performance. Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, report 2008

6 It’s wonderful to have support across the community emphasising the importance of reading and language development. It’s not just a health issue, it’s a community issue. Community Health Nurse, Evaluation of The Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program, 2007 Working collaboratively Libraries, community health centres, schools working together to reinforce key messages MOU between State Library of WA and Dept of Health

7 I love the program and feel it fills a gap between the home and school in regard to literacy that has not been targeted at kindergarten/pre-primary level before. It’s going to benefit both the child and the parents and develop those links with the town library that people will just value what libraries have to offer…wherever they are in the State, they’re going to be able to go and reap the rewards. Teacher, Growing Better Beginnings, Evaluation of The Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program, 2010

8 Working collaboratively  Linking with organisations providing targeted services for socially disadvantaged and isolated families  Trialing resources in adult education programs

9 Read to me, I love it! Connecting with families in remote Aboriginal communities  Work with Community Councils, Aboriginal health services, independent community schools  Two year commitment with regular communications and quarterly delivery of reading packs for families in over 100 remote Aboriginal communities  Training for library staff on cultural awareness and providing library services to Aboriginal people

10 The kids love it when we get [the packs]... they cheer and cheer. One mother reads with her 4 year old every afternoon after school now … She said without these books, they would not have any to read. I didn't realise the program was having this kind of an impact on families. Teacher, Tjuntjuntjara Remote Community School, 2009

11 Making a difference  99% of mothers and 72% of fathers reported reading regularly with their child (only 14% reported reading before the program)  88% of parents report that their confidence in sharing books with their child had increased after being involved in Better Beginnings.  81% of mothers joined the library saying that the program had influenced this decision.  Average number of books in the home suitable for reading to the child increased from 20 to 125.

12 Visit us at We have to do everything we can to give all our children opportunities to get off to a strong start, and community institutions play a critical role. For parents and families, libraries and museums are a go-to resource that supports them as their child's first teacher. Growing Young Minds:How Museums and LibrariesCreate Lifelong Learners, IMLS, Washington DC, June 2013

13 You need to learn to read. It helps you with every other subject and if you don’t read, you struggle with everything else in life. Parent, Making a Difference: Evaluation of The Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program, 2007 Questions?

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