During National Literacy and Numeracy Week (29 August – 4 September), preschool children in the Taree area received a donation of nearly 350 books, made possible by the generosity of NGM Group employees.
Employees across the organisation’s two retail brands, Greater Bank and Newcastle Permanent, have banded together in support of the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation’s (ALNF) Share-A-Book Program, an initiative that provides new and quality pre-loved books to Indigenous, refugee and marginalised communities across Australia.
Greater Charitable Foundation Executive Officer, Anne Long, said that literacy skills open doors in life that all children should be able to enjoy, regardless of their circumstances.
“Last week data was released on the 2023 NAPLAN results, which showed that students from non-urban areas, Indigenous heritage and lower socio-educational backgrounds continue to require more concentrated support when it comes to literacy and numeracy,” said Ms Long.
“Engaging with books from a young age can set the trajectory of a child’s literacy engagement and development for life. Every little one deserves to develop strong literacy life-skills, not to mention the magic of finding a favourite story or book!
“We hope the children can find laughter and enjoyment from these books, helping to sow the seeds for a lifetime of reading. Among the books donated, I saw some of my favourite titles from when I used to read to my kids, like ‘Spot’ and ‘Wombat Stew’, as well as some amazing books by Indigenous authors like Gumbaynggirr artist Melissa Greenwood.”
ALNF Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kim Kelly, said that accessibility to books is an important foundation for building strong literacy skills.
“The ability to read and write is a human right, and providing access to quality books for children and families is a powerful step in our mission to make literacy a reality for all Australians,” said Ms Kelly.
“We are very grateful to the Greater Charitable Foundation who have supported us once again this year with a generous donation of high quality and engaging children’s books as part of their ongoing commitment to enhancing the literacy and education outcomes of children across the Greater Taree region.
“Together, we can ensure that every child in the Taree region is empowered with the language and literacy skills needed to thrive in the classroom and beyond.”
The Greater Charitable Foundation's support of ALNF in the Taree region dates back to 2019, during which time the Foundation supported ALNF’s work providing training, support and mentoring through their Early Language and Literacy Program. The 2023 partnership will enable ALNF to offer the program to at least 40 educators working across 15 learning sites in Taree and the nearby towns of Old Bar, Nabiac and Coolongolook.
Over three years, ALNF will deliver targeted, evidence-based training and resources to educators, parents, carers and other interested community members, aiming to equip local adults to support the foundational language and literacy development of more than 500 children.