Former ECT Emily Elizabeth Small authors first book, ‘What I Will See On Anzac Day?’
Former Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) Emily Elizabeth Small has authored a book to teach preschool aged children about ANZAC Day after identifying a need for age-appropriate literature to support children in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to understand the significance of the day.
Ms Small is the daughter of a returned serviceman and the sister of an Australian Defence Force member who served in the Afghanistan conflict, and worked on the book for 10 years as a passion project inspired by her family’s dedicated service, wanting to share the journey she lived with the next generation.
What Will I See On ANZAC Day? is designed to give preschool-aged children a basic understanding of the significance of ANZAC Day in the Australian calendar, and was created for educators and families to share with them.
The book, Ms Small told local paper St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, is designed to boost educator confidence around ANZAC Day and how to introduce it in an age appropriate way.
“There were a lot of educators who didn’t have confidence to talk about ANZAC Day because they were worried about it being challenging,” she said. “So they would avoid it altogether, or they would get the kids to do some quick flower poppy craft and leave it at that.
While three-year-olds don’t need to know about Turkey or Gallipoli, starting conversations about ANZAC Day from a young age can start important conversations and help children to scaffold knowledge on the topic to be built on at school.
An additional focus of the book is to shift the perception that veterans are all elderly people who fought long ago.
“Veterans can be all different ages and abilities. Serving members come from various cultural backgrounds and genders in the Australian Defence Force. People hear ‘veteran’ and they think of an 80-year-old man. But many forget that there are young veterans. We have 20-year-old veterans from Afghanistan. My brother was one of them,” Ms Small explained.
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