This year, we are very excited to launch a new kit of books, for our Book Buzz early literacy project. This project has a strong focus on selecting developmentally and culturally appropriate books. Book Buzz aims to engage and consult with community, and support and acknowledge language.
Next month, babies and toddlers from Warburton Community Playgroup, in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of WA, will be the first to receive the new packs of books. The community will celebrate with a book giving ceremony that puts these books into the hands and homes of these young children.
Early literacy development in a child’s life is an important time for enjoying the world of story-telling. Traditional cultures have been telling stories for thousands of years through oral histories, song and dance, art, play, and through written forms. Fostering this importance of story-telling, our Book Buzz early literacy project draws on current research in literacy and recognises the need for contact with quality books at the earliest possible age. Our latest kit includes beautiful sensory books for babies, fun lift-the-flap and rhyming books, books that introduce basic number and colour concepts, interesting books about earth and space, and of course great storybooks.
"Having the durable board books available for the babies and toddlers means that the babies naturally pick them up to look at and this shows the parent that they are interested. With a little guidance those parent gradually learn how to maintain and extend that natural curiosity and start to read to them.
Our team here love being able to give these books to families and fully believe that this will have a huge impact on literacy for these children who now have the same privilege that most of Australian babies and children take for granted."
Clare Levy, Nurse Home Visitor, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
Many of these books have now been translated into two Aboriginal languages, Walmajarri and Ngaanyatjarra, with more translations to come. Translating these books into first language gives mothers and families the option of reading the books in dual languages and empowers them to feel confident about sharing a new book in first language. It exposes children from an early age to the written word in both languages and recognises the importance of first language and learning first in that language.
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