Of the 210 students enrolled at Kirton Point Primary School in Port Lincoln, SA, a large percentage identify as Aboriginal.
Both English and Barngala are spoken in the community of approximately 15,000, where few family homes have easy access to books and other literacy materials.
Deputy Principal Andrew Williams has been ordering books from ILF’s Book Supply program for the past two years, after hearing about the work of our Foundation via a FaceBook post from another school.
“Initially, the books were meant to go to homes, as we thought kids would be in lockdown due to COVID-19,” he explains, “but conditions have been pretty good in SA and we haven’t needed to go into lockdown.”
Instead, wanting to make sure the students could always have books around them, not just at school, the teachers “mainly used the first set of books to develop class libraries in every classroom.”
“The kids can take the books home and access the quality literature any time during the day. This certainly helped with enthusiasm, and with kids wanting to read,” he says.
In 2021, Andrew’s focus has been on getting books into homes on a more ongoing basis.
“It’s a challenge for many families to have books at home,” he says, explaining the kids are encouraged to select some books which they can take home and keep, thereby “making sure literacy is both a home and school thing.”
Andrew says the students at Kirton Point love the books from both the Books 4 Kids and Books 4 Big Kids lists. And they have especially enjoyed the range of books with cultural content as well as the non-fiction titles, picture books and novels.
“We do Buddy Reading every morning, where older students read to younger students. The books that the ILF has supplied are the first books they reach for. Our kids love the brand new books. They are stoked! Some of them will look through a book just because it is new. Exposure to different styles of literacy is promoted this way.”
Andrew tells us that with ever-tighter budgets, the replacement of books in school libraries tends to get “bumped down the priority list at times,” so Kirton Point Primary is “very thankful for the books.”
“It’s a great range, and the kids love non-fiction, which is important too. The books are very well used.”