Only 34% of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas are at or above national minimum reading standards, compared to 95% for non-Indigenous students in major cities, according to the 2017 National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).
The situation is improving but there is still a long way to go and the challenges are immense.
Apart from the historical, health, social, and educational disadvantage issues, many remote communities don’t have many, if any, books. Most of the remote communities that we work with report there are fewer than five books in family homes.
Our approach to raising literacy levels starts at a community level with Book Supply. Appropriate quality books are gifted to organisations operating in remote communities.
Our Book Buzz program in a WA community shows how giving children under five the right books in their own language, develops early literacy skills.