reach_for_the_sky_projectIn a couple of weeks’ time, my first short story Disappointment will be published by US based independent press Write Out Publishing. It goes without saying, I am beyond excited. 10% of profits go to a charity of my choice. An organization close to my heart is the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation.

There is a marked difference in literacy rates between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. Tragically, most Indigenous children in regional and remote areas struggle with literacy and fall far below national literacy standards.

By almost all socioeconomic indicators, Australia’s Aboriginal children are the most disadvantaged group in the country. Educational outcomes for these children is closely linked to opportunities for further education and employment. A lack of education can lead to ongoing health problems, crime, high-risk alcohol consumption, financial, and psychological stress. Early intervention and support for literacy and numeracy is vital to keep Indigenous children engaged in education and improve their long-term experience of life.

Research shows Indigenous homes have fewer books and educational resources. This is particularly true in remote communities where almost two thirds of children do not have access to a library. Such factors are linked to children’s achievements at school and development of literacy skills.

Primary beneficiaries of the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation’s programs are Indigenous children aged between 8 and 16 years who have been identified as disadvantaged with major learning difficulties.

The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation provides ongoing literacy programs and opportunities for Indigenous young people through education and community based initiatives such as the Books for Learning Program, Literacy & Heritage Camps, Literacy Resource Packs and Support Services, Literacy Tutoring and Testing, Research, and Evaluation.

Established in 2003, the Foundation is an incorporated association, registered and based in Victoria, Australia.

Aboriginal Literacy Foundation PO Box 315 Flinders Lane Melbourne VIC 8009

Email: info@aboriginalliteracyfoundation.org

Office: + 61 3 9650 1006

(Photos courtesy The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation)

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