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Save the Children has been improving the reading skills of African Australian children in Victoria since 2009.
We run regular reading groups for African Australian children in Fitzroy and Collingwood, which strengthen their language and social skills. These sessions are delivered in partnership with African Communities Foundation Australia, Collingwood College and Embrace Education.
Why a Reading Club is important
Reading and writing are skills that many of us take for granted. So is having your parents or an older sibling there to help you learn. Yet for some African Australian children living in Melbourne’s inner East, learning to read – especially in English - is a challenge. This makes completing their homework, achieving basic literacy levels and keeping up at school difficult, especially if they do not have a family member with the skills to assist them.
African Reading Club
Run four days a week during the school term, our African Reading Club aims to improve the reading skills of African Australian children aged 4 to 12 years, who live in housing estates in Fitzroy and Collingwood, Victoria. The African Reading Club is run by two coordinators from ACFA and Save the Children and a team of trained volunteers who assist children with their reading, homework and literacy development.
As well as their own homework and books, children are provided with additional resources and participate in educational games and team activities which offer them a chance to interact in a fun learning environment. The sessions also empower parents to take the lead in reading with their children regardless of their own literacy skills.
After each session, volunteers make notes on the children’s performance that day, which helps in tailoring future sessions to the individual needs of each child. At the end of each term volunteers and coordinators also meet to discuss outcomes and plan future activities.
How we know we’re helping children learn
Consistently high attendance at the African Reading Club demonstrates the value of our program to the families who attend. Some families walk from surrounding suburbs twice a week, and many of the children tell us that they enjoy spending time reading with the volunteers.
The African Reading Club was also awarded Community Service of the Year for 2012 by the City of Yarra in Melbourne.
Who makes the African Reading Club possible
Save the Children would like to thank the Readings Foundation for their ongoing support of the African Reading Club.