Making the Most of the Annual Deliveries from ILF's Book Supply Program

Making the Most of the Annual Deliveries from ILF's Book Supply Program

“I can’t tell you how much this program means to our school!” says Val Wardley, the Administration Officer at Clyde Fenton Primary School in Katherine, NT. “We’d be okay without it, but not real great.”

Kids from Katherine township proper — as well as from the outlying Communities of Kalano, Binjari, Rockhole, Werenbun and Gorge Camp — attend the school, which has been actively promoting strong literacy skills among all its students.

There is also a preschool on the school grounds, as well as after-school care, and Val makes sure some of the books from ILF’s Book Supply program are distributed to these services too. Any books for slightly older kids, she drops off at the local high school.

“It’s a very useful, much needed and appreciated resource.”

Some of the books are kept in the classrooms for the students to enjoy there. But if a student really likes a particular book, they are encouraged to take it home.

“A lot of the books end up in homes!”

Other books have become part and parcel of Community visits. For instance, when teachers from the school go out to the Communities to meet with parents there, they take pictures and board books for the babies and toddlers in the families’ homes with them.

“We really appreciate this service to our students, families and the Communities. We would not be able to offer the range of access to literacy [resources] without them.”

Each year, when a fresh delivery of books arrives at the school, there is huge excitement. The books about footy have proven very popular, Val says, and the kids will come and ask her for them. Another winner is the Guinness World Records book. And some picture books, especially those by First Nations authors, remain perennial favourites.

“One student is currently working his way through all the Dreamtime stories.”

Val says the kids, whose interests are diverse, love it when she organises a book sorting day and they are able to choose a few books each to take home and keep. 

“It is great to see the range [of books] you are able to supply. The wide variety of titles available means that the different interests and reading abilities of our students are well catered for.”

Val says the kids often comment on how good the books from ILF are — and the fact that they are delivered to their school each year!

“They are beginning to become familiar with where the books are coming from, with the [ILF] identification sticker on the front … It’s such a fantastic program. When the new books arrive each year we always ask, ‘What is going to be the best way to use these books?’”

  • Posted 04 April, 2022

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