On Cape Barren Island in Bass Strait, off the north-eastern tip of Tasmania, parents are regularly invited to a Book Café at the school where they read to the children.
After hearing about the work of our Foundation from one of the mums on the island, the school has been receiving books from our Book Supply Program since 2016.
“The beauty is that the books are brand spanking new,” says teacher Charlotte White, “which is very special for these kids who’ve had lots of hand-me-downs in their lives.”
There are just 8 students at school on the island, from Kindergarten to Grade 8, with another 6 enrolled in the Launching into Learning program for pre-schoolers. On Book Café days the kids bake goodies and make tea and coffee for the mums and aunties and the few dads who come along. The books are then laid out on a table and the kids choose which ones they’d like read to them.
In the three weeks leading up to Indigenous Literacy Day last year, the students read only books supplied by our Foundation. The older kids then wrote book reviews and gave each book they’d read a star rating out of 5.
“The kids loved it. They all have their favourites.”
Among those favourites are The Magic Show Book (by DK) and Our Dingo, Ernie (by Molly & Aliya Ridley-Davison and Dub Leffler).
Some of the books from our Foundation have been put aside and in the end-of-year presentations each student will receive one to take home. Others have gone into rejuvenating the small school library, which also makes books available to the wider island community.
“We’re so thrilled to get the books,” Charlotte says. “The barge only comes once a month with supplies so it’s really special for the school to get packages. The kids love the books and are so grateful for them.”