“The kids love the program and are really enjoying attending remotely. They are still able to take part in games and activities, but at the same time we have been able to adapt the program content to incorporate life on-country, such as by tasting bush tucker, building a hut from branches and leaves and going for a bush walk.”
The adapted Play2Learn program is running in a number of locations across the Northern Territory, including the remote communities of Wadeye, 420 kilometres south west of Darwin and Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
What we’re doing in Wadeye
Many family groups from Wadeye in the NT have moved to remote sites across traditional homelands to meet new social-distancing and travel restrictions and reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus.
Maintaining vital early learning
To ensure children keep taking part in the vital early learning during this time, we have adapted our program by providing individual family groups with tablets for photos, songs and videos, as well as education kits with pencils, paper and games.
The program is being delivered by four local Aboriginal women who work for Save the Children and have returned to their homeland.
The women are all studying a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and have helped modify how the program will be delivered, and what it will include.
Gwendaline Kolumboort is one of those women. She’s delivering the Play2Learn program along with special bush experiences, including fishing and hunting trip and bush walks.
She has been supporting the children’s fine motor development and hand-eye coordination through drawing, rhymes and songs in the local language, Murrinhpatha, in the sessions.
A key focus is healthy eating. Gwendoline talks to the kids about bush tucker and how it can be hunted and gathered. The children have learnt to recognise the traditional bush tucker which can be found on the outskirts of the community. Gwendoline is using this as a platform to explore healthy food further, allowing the children to catch and prepare fish for supper, and make burgers incorporating vegetables, such as lettuce.