One community school excited to receive their packs of books from our Foundation is located about 120kms north of Darwin, in the Northern Territory. With a population of about 400 people, Milikapiti is one of three major communities that make up the Tiwi Islands. Tiwi comprises two islands - Bathurst and Melville Islands - which are commonly known for their ability to produce talented ALF football players, such as Michael Long and the Rioli boys. The Tiwi Islands have also produced experienced and qualified teachers, health workers, policemen, and well-known artists.
The children of Milikapiti School are confident speakers of English and local language, Tiwi. But their English reading and writing skills are still far below the national standards. Through the school’s literacy program and commitment to sharing the joy of reading, the children are developing a real interest in reading, writing and sharing their own stories.
Our Foundation supplied the school with book packs, a set of brand new quality books that range in appeal from babies through to adults. These books travelled by truck all the way from Melbourne, across the country and out to the Islands (doing the final leg of their journey on a small mail plane).
The children and staff were overjoyed with the books. When one of the students spotted Big Rain Coming by Kristina Germain, a book they were familiar with through their literacy lessons, she said “Oh my favourite book! Can I take it home?" Another child’s response was "We love reading, we are so lucky", testament of their excitement in receiving books and interest in reading.
The importance of education and being able to speak, read and write in English is certainly something the community works towards. Parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles are proud of the children as the school regularly celebrates their achievements.
“ILF has realised that literacy is about more than providing books and that success will come when relationships are forged and support is given to the whole community and the families that are part of that community.
We are proud to be associated with this group and are confident that the practical support that has been given will be enduring. ”
– Helen Unwin & Mary Vanbee, Principal & Chairperson