ILF work with Indigenous communities, specifically children and educators, to encourage and increase reading and overall engagement in books, with a focus on developing and distributing books written in traditional languages.
HenderCare recently spoke with ILF Relationships Manager, David Stewart about the impact of HenderCare Foundation’s grant to the organisation and the role ILF plays in remote communities.
Can you tell us how HenderCare Foundation has enabled ILF to continue making a difference to the lives of Indigenous children and their families in remote Australia?
“In 2017, the ILF held writing and illustrating workshops in the Amata community in the APY Lands which created text and illustrations for two board books in Pitjantjatjara. Since then, there has been a demand for more books in language to be produced.
HenderCare Foundation has provided ILF with funding to translate board books (linked to its Book Buzz early literacy program) into Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara languages for communities in the APY Lands.
This means that these children will have access to books in their first language but also in a story that reflects their own lives and culture. Parents and family members will also enjoy reading these stories to their children.”
How important is it that Indigenous children in remote communities have the opportunity to carry on their traditional language, particularly when it comes to books and learning to read?
“Research shows that young children learn best in their home language, so it’s important that these books are available to them.
Publishing more books in languages that children and families speak at home allows them to engage in books that they are most confident and comfortable speaking.
Books that are age and developmentally appropriate allow children to develop essential pre-literacy skills and experiences with books.
Along with the books, our Book Buzz Early Literacy Program promotes a dedicated storytime and supports families to feel comfortable and confident to read and share books with their babies and toddlers. This also assists children in building familiarity and confidence with reading, something that’s really important as they transition into school.”
How can others in the community get involved to help support your organisation?
“The ILF does not receive any government funding and relies purely on donations from individuals and corporate philanthropy to provide funding for all of its programs.
Although there are no volunteer opportunities within the communities, we do require help around the country at various events, including Writer’s Festivals.
These opportunities are updated on our website ilf.org.au. COVID-19 has unfortunately severely limited these opportunities for the time being.”
Supporting organisations such as the ILF is incredibly important for HenderCare Foundation in connecting to the community.
To find out more about our community-based partnerships or to get in touch, click here.
(Feature image photographer: Tiffany Parker)