“They’re absolutely beautiful books,” says Erin Murphy, Centre Manager at One Tree Community Services in Kalkarindji, NT. “And the ladies love reading them to the kids.”
Kalkarindji, on the Victoria River, approximately 200 kilometres east of the WA border, is a good eight hours’ drive from Darwin, or four and a half if you’re heading out from Katherine. Either way, it’s a decent trip.
One Tree provides a range of services for the young children living in this remote Community, including a childcare program.
The centre has been ordering from ILF’s Book Supply program since 2017 and the children love that the selection of books changes each year. With a large number being First Nations authored or illustrated.
At One Tree, the books are used in a range of ways. Some stay on a shelf in the centre where they can be easily accessed and shared by the children. Others are gifted to the kids at birthdays and Christmas, and they’re always thrilled to have a brand new book to take home and keep.
Erin says the “flap books”, where a flap is lifted to reveal an illustration, and the ‘That’s Not My …’ series of hard-wearing board books have been especially popular with the youngsters at Kalkarindji.
The centre shares some of the books ILF delivers with other local organisations, such as the nearby health clinic and the council office, both of which are frequently visited by families in the Community.
Gurindji, Warlpiri and Kriol are all spoken here, and the picture books in these languages are massive winners! Staff have noted the children becoming more engaged with these, and increasingly the kids are asking the adults to read them to them.
Many of the older Community members really enjoy these bilingual books too.
“Their faces light up when they see the books.”
One Tree is committed to encouraging literacy and pre-literacy skills among the children living in the Community.
“Thanks to ILF, we’re able to get books into kids’ hands — and into their homes.”
- Posted 19 September, 2022