The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) helps to raise the literacy levels of Australians in marginalised communities through programs and community projects, as well as providing funding, training, support and resources to individuals, families and schools.
Since August 2019, Greater Charitable Foundation (GCF) has supported the delivery of The Early Language and Literacy (EL&L) Taree Project – an early years education program, incorporating speech and language pathology principles.
Hear from Co-founder, Mary-Ruth Mendel about how GCF’s funding has made a difference to the lives of indigenous and marginalised children and families within the Taree community, particularly in the wake of COVID-19.
How has COVID-19 impacted ALNF?
Border closures and, in the case of remote communities, community closures, has meant that for the first time ALNF has been grounded! Our ALNF trainers took up the challenge of working with communities online, over Facebook and good old-fashioned telephone calls. It has been tough hearing the impact of COVID-19 on children and hearing the exhaustion in the community members' voices.
How does GCF make a difference to ALNF?
Firstly, GCF have provided the funds for us to work with the Taree community, and secondly, GCF have engaged with us here at ALNF in such a personal and interested way that we feel supported - particularly during the first stage of the COVID-19 pandemic! GCF's funding is helping children within the Taree community to get what they need to become speakers, listeners, readers and writers.
What do you love most about your job?
Every day I am inspired by the amazing people who tirelessly work for the betterment of childrens' lives. I love that we create empowered communities who can teach their own children and be informed advocates for their children's needs.
And now for something fun, if you could pick three people to have dinner with who would they be?
Only three?! I would invite Beatrix Potter, Dr Seuss (Theodore Seuss Giesel) and Agatha Christie. I Don't think I would get a word in with this lot at the table!