Early Years Literacy Development

  • Baden Powell College (BPC) (City of Wyndham) has students from Prep to Year 9 from over 60 different language groups from 40 different countries.
  • Significant levels of poverty prevent many families from providing reading material at home. 
  • Many parents have English as their second language and are not confident or literate in the English language.
  • When BPC tried to purchase reading material in dual languages, it found such material difficult to source.
  •  It had also been difficult to engage parents, especially women from refugee backgrounds, in activities held at school.
General Approach
  • Wyndham Rotarians worked with BPC teachers, senior students, and parents from refugee backgrounds to purchase, translate and prepare picture storybooks in languages that support Early Years Literacy Development in students.
  • Picture storybooks were translated into Dinka (a Nilotic dialect cluster spoken by the Dinka people, the major ethnic group of South Sudan).
  • Wyndham Rotary also obtained a District Grant to replicate this project and translate picture storybooks into the other five major languages that prevail across the College.
  • The project has seen parents engage positively with a school activity, building trust with teachers.
  • A bond has also been formed across the various cultures, and now a Library of Languages is available for parents to borrow books so that they can read short stories to pre-school children at home, as well as support their children already attending school.
  • Parents have connected to Rotary and are able to see how best Rotary can support marginalised families in our community.
  • Supporting early literacy development in young children in local communities could be a wonderful opportunity for Rotary and beneficial for other schools.