The Indigenous Literacy Foundation works as an initiative of the Australian Book Industry with the support of:
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) recognises the importance of cultivating a love of books in the early years of a child's life.
The Book Buzz program introduces babies and children (age 0 to 5) to book through playgroup story time programs, and instruction on how to read and approach books from health care centres.
Why is early literacy so important?
The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students emerges early and is even more pronounced in remote and isolated communities (link). Non-Indigenous students far out-perform Indigenous students in benchmark texts.
The NAPLAN results from 2015 showed that 55 to 75 per cent of Indigenous children in very remote locations across WA, SA and NT achieve below the minimum standard of reading by the time they reach Year 3.
By drawing on current research in literacy and working with playgroups, preschools, communities and health care centres, the Book Buzz program aims to change these statistics.
Book Buzz encourages early reading behaviours so children in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can enter school with confidence, and have a strong foundation from which their love of literacy can grow.
How does Book Buzz work?
The Book Buzz program introduces sets of culturally, developmentally and age-appropriate books to playgroups and health care centres in remote Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The ILF has a catalogue of board and cloth books and supporting resources (including puppets, big books, and puzzles). Playgroups and Health Care Centres, model, encourage and support families to read and share books with their young children.
The catalogue is developed by specialists in Indigenous literacy, and in consultation with parents and elders in remote communities.
Research shows that children learn best in the home language. This is even more pronounced when little English is spoken in the community. Translating books empowers mothers and other family members to read, share or talk about the books all in their first, home language.
Like the ILF’s other core programs, Book Buzz takes place in the most remote communities around Australia. If you are working in a playgroup or health care centre and would like to find out more, please contact us.