Helping Kids in our Northern SuburbsFebruary 25, 2016
The Give Where You Live Foundation’s grant of $30,000 will enable the Ardoch Youth Foundation to improve young children’s school readiness in the northern suburbs by providing targeted resources for families and skilled volunteers, building children’s literacy, language, communication, social and cognitive skills, whilst support their health and wellbeing.
Ardoch works in the northern suburbs of Geelong to support disadvantaged children to help them to reach their full potential through education. Recognising that poor literacy and language skills in the early years significantly reduces the likelihood of children’s educational success and development, Ardoch’s support focuses on developing children’s early literacy, oral language development and socialisation skills to build school readiness and transition to primary school.
Australian Early Development Census results for Geelong showed that 18.8% of children starting school were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains but this is much higher in Corio at 33.1% and in Norlane/North Shore at 30.2% of children developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains, significantly higher than national (22%) and Victorian results (19.5%).
In December, Ardoch distributed over 250 Transition Packs for children preparing to start primary school in Corio Norlane this year. The packs contained books for parents to read with their children at home, an Ardoch School Costs Guide to help families prepare for education costs and activities to develop fine motor skills.
S J Canny Accountants provided additional support for the books through Best Buy Books of Geelong and Ardoch partnered with The Smith Family to include book bags made by their volunteers and ‘Reading with Children’ guidance.
The children were delighted to receive their Transition Packs and so excited by the new books, many of which they have been reading in the kindergartens with Ardoch volunteers. As the Director of Northern Bay Family Centre said, “The active and playful reading of stories and books is the foundation for all learning and has long-term impact on improving children’s educational outcomes”.