No books are sold in the small store at Haasts Bluff, in the MacDonnell Ranges, 230 kilometres west of Alice Springs. But since 2008, kids living in the remote community of Ikuntji have had access to a steady stream of literacy resources through our Book Supply Program.
“The supply of books has ensured our students receive quality and engaging new books throughout the year, equal to their city counterparts,” says Kandi Thorpe, the Teaching Principal at Haasts Bluff School. “These books have stimulated literacy development, student interest and a love of reading in our students.”
Haasts Bluff is a small, two-classroom school, with just 41 students from Kindergarten to Year 6. Buddy reading time is after lunch each day. The kids select a book and read it with either an older student or an adult from the community.
The staff at Haasts Bluff are passionate about sharing the joy of reading and over the years have been able to build up a school library in a corner of the staffroom. In the classroom, they’ve seen the development of both literacy skills and “a definite love of books” among their students. Often the kids will ask, “Where’s that new book?” so keen are they to read it again.
“The joy of picking up a book! That’s what we’ve shared here and it’s lovely to see it develop.”
Some books from ILF are set aside each year to be used for “student of the week” prizes or end-of-term awards. Books with Indigenous content are especially appreciated, such as those by author and artist Bronwyn Bancroft.
“We are very grateful that ILF is working hard to ensure equity for our students who live in a remote context, do not have easy access to a large variety of books outside of school and speak English as an additional language. Palya [thank you] for the lovely gift of literacy you have given our community.”
- Posted 28 September, 2018