Applications open for Multicultural Storytime to boost connection to language
Victorian early childhood education and care (ECEC) services have been invited to apply for grants of up to $25,000 to deliver at least 20 Storytime sessions in one language other than English, in one location regularly over one year.
Research shows that reading regularly with children from a young age stimulates patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships while also building language, literacy and social-emotional skills.
It is hoped that the storytime sessions will strengthen these skills while providing the connection Victorian children from multicultural communities have with their families, their language, their identity and their culture. In addition, the program will provide families with culturally appropriate information about health services in their local area.
The program recognises the diversity present in Victorian society, where there are communities from more than 200 countries, who speak 260 languages, and supports the use of storytelling in these languages to support children to feel connected to the language of their broader cultural identity.
Victorian Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn visited Chelsea Library to announce the funding, saying the grants will strengthen the connection young children have to their communities.
“Storytime will help kids (sic.) to improve their reading and literacy while supporting parents to access the support they need to continue teaching their kids at home,” she said.
The Victorian Government has invested $6 million to deliver the program, which will see eligible organisations receive grants of up to $25,000 to deliver at least 20 Storytime sessions in one language other than English, in one location regularly over one year.
The program will also teach Victorian parents how to reinforce these languages at home through interactive activities, storytelling techniques and book-sharing practices. Storytime sessions will be held in family friendly locations such as libraries, community centres, and language schools, kindergartens, ECEC services and gathering places, while organisations will also be encouraged to provide online Storytime to ensure accessibility for all families in Victoria.
Funding is available for not-for-profit multicultural or ethno-specific organisations for storytime delivered in community languages.
Eligible organisations with links to multicultural communities are now encouraged to apply, including libraries, community centres, language schools, kindergartens, ECEC services and gathering places.
Applications are now open and can be made here.
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