What does the Indigenous literacy gap mean?

Only 36% of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas are at or above national minimum reading standards, compared to 96% for non-Indigenous students in major cities, according to the 2018 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.

Through our Community Literacy Projects, we have been able to work with and publish books in many Aboriginal languages: traditional languages, vibrant languages, sleeping languages and new languages, from Walmajarri in the Kimberley region, to Arabana in South Australia, to Kriol in the Katherine region. Learn more here.