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 2019 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. New, culturally appropriate books are gifted to schools and organisations operating in remote communities.
Our Book Buzz program aims to develop familiarity and engagement with books for children under five through a daily dedicated Story Time session, so children can start school with the pre-literacy skills they need to feel confident.