Two weeks ago, members of our team took a trip to Ngukurr, a remote community on the banks of the Roper River in the NT, to launch our exciting new partnership with the Northern Territory Department of Education and 39 ‘Families as First Teachers’ (FaFT) programs across the territory.
The partnership will allow the remote FaFT sites to receive our early literacy program, Book Buzz, which adds value to the FaFT program and ensures children and families have access to books.
The guest of honour at the launch was Selena Uibo, the NT Minister for Education, who talked about the importance of the Department’s partnership with our Foundation. Two months earlier, she spoke about the significance of our work at a major address she’d given at Garma Festival.
To begin the day, our team were treated to a special performance from the Playgroup mums – and one dad – in their dramatic re-enactment of The Very Cranky Bear. They delivered the funny, at times scary, but always engaging story in Kriol.
This performance took them three weeks to translate and practise, and was enjoyed thoroughly by the audience of over 40 children and their families. The energy of this continued as we then presented our gift to the all of the children; Book Buzz packs, a T-shirt and two books to take home, including Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, and Who’s Hiding, both translated into Kriol.
We also managed to squeeze a ‘pop-up bookshop’ down at the school into the day. Here Book Buzz Consultant Josie Lardy and Program Director Tina Raye sat down to read stories to the children – with Moli Det Bigibigi the clear crowd favourite. Perhaps because of Josie’s dramatic rendition in Kriol, but the kids loved the particularly adorable Weet-Bix eating pig.
Following this, laughter and excitement erupted as the children were told they could choose books to take home with them (after just a few little squabbles over book selections).
Our Book Buzz program is gifted free to nearly 50 playgroups across four states, and you can find out more information on how it works here.