Books Providing a Break from Reality

Indigenous Literacy Foundation

St Joseph’s School in Wyndham, the northernmost town in the Kimberley region of WA, has been ordering books from our Book Supply program since 2016. Some of the books go straight into the school library, to replace old and damaged stock.

“They’re really good books, and they encourage the children to use the library more,” says Francine Ellis, the school’s principal. “They’re wonderful, well picked, with lots of variety, and just right for kids in the Kimberley.”

Multiple copies of books are used in classrooms in guided reading sessions with small groups of three or four students, as well as for individual enjoyment.

“The kids learn how wonderful books are, that they can lose themselves in books, have a break from reality,” explains Mareike Ceranna, the teaching assistant at St Joseph’s.

Francine and Mareike set aside enough books to be given out as weekly classroom prizes as well as for end-of-year merit awards.

“They’re fantastic books and the kids really love to receive them,” says Francine.

This year, the school has also been sending bags of books home to children who haven’t been able to come to school on account of restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

“With COVID-19 knocking on our doors, we are giving more books out so that parents are able to read with the kids together … We wouldn’t be able to do that without your books. They engage the kids and make them feel valued,” says Mareike.

Some of the ILF books have also been shared with other children’s services in the town. And a selection has been packaged up and sent to a small, very remote community several hours’ drive south of Wyndham.

Plans are also afoot at St Joseph’s for Children’s Book Week celebrations, being held next week instead of the usual August. The theme this year is “Curious Creatures, Wild Minds”.

“There’ll be dress-ups and lots of activities around the children’s book awards,” says Francine. “And we’ll be sending lots more books home with the kids … Books take you to another world. You can go wherever with a book!”

Hold a Great Book Swap or fundraiser at your school for CBCA Book Week! 

  • Posted 16 October, 2020