One of the largest projects we support in Western Australia is the Discovery Book Club (DBC).
The DBC is based in Fremantle and Perth. The purpose of this project is to establish a sustainable community partnership and resource model to support the development of positive reading relationships and literacy skills of children coming into care. The Discovery Book Club project comprises four main components based on core education service practices to support these children:
- Book and literacy parcels are mailed to children every six months from the first two years since coming into care.
- Student Teacher Support Readers who provide recreational reading support to a child in care, for at least one hour per week for two school terms.
- Foster Care support sessions providing current research and information to foster carers on ways to support literacy development for children in care.
- Education Service intake and referral model.
Most importantly it’s all about empowering children in care!
This very successful program has seen its work being expanded to the Wheat belt (Northam), Armadale (Gosnells), Karratha, Mandurah, and to some Residential Houses in Casuarina and Carnarvon. The reading only programs have been expanded to Midland and Laverton in the Northern Goldfields.
The Discovery Book Club is greatly assisted by the University of Notre Dame with the provision of space, volunteer readers, and resources. Testing and evaluation of the program is also provided at the university. This ongoing assessment ensures the program remains relevant to the children.
The ALF and DBC are proud to provide books and assistance to 540 children in Perth and Fremantle, but even prouder to state that with the expansion of this project to other cities and towns in Western Australia, it will see hundreds more children and families receive assistance.
The ALF is very proud of its relationship with the Discovery Book Club. By supplying Western Australia with books and resources we are helping our young brothers and sisters to embrace reading, learning, and the value of education. This early assistance program is essential in promoting the life chances of so many young indigenous boys and girls.