Children in the APY lands thrive with support from the Indigenous Literacy Foundation
Young children living in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in the northern and western parts of South Australia are getting a strong start to a lifelong love of reading thanks to support from Early Childhood Leader Kerry Bosisto, who is driving the Indgienous Literacy Foundation (ILF) Book Buzz program in the region.
“I visit each of the preschools and playgroups in the APY Lands each term,” she explained, “and I regularly see the teachers, families and children reading and viewing the Buzz books. The books are a good size for young hands, attractive and sturdy for use indoors and outdoors.”
Many teachers in the preschools have told Kerry that the children really engage with the books from ILF and that each child “definitely has their favourite”.
Both the picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the accompanying resource kit have resulted in much “imaginary play with large plastic insects” which assists with oral language development, the educators shared.
The early childhood educators in the APY lands work closely with local Aboriginal educators, often co-reading books to the youngsters and co-planning translations into language.
In the playgroups, the parents and carers who join in the group reading sessions love having their own copy of the book with transparent stick-on translations of the words so they can read along to their baby or toddler sitting on their lap.
“This is an exciting area,” Kerry says.
As part of the Book Buzz program, families in the playgroups are given books to take home and build up their home library so they can continue reading to their little ones. During COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, take home learning packs containing books and games were delivered directly to APY lands families.
“We aim to circulate as many of the books as possible,” Kerry explains. “And the families really appreciate all the books. People get very excited whenever there’s a delivery from ILF.”
For more information on the work of the ILF, and how this may be supported with fundraising events such as the Great Book Swap, please see here.