At the beginning of the Changemaker journey, Aimee thought it was unacceptable that 44% of Australian adults don’t have the literacy skills to cope with the demands of everyday life and work, and she recognised the parents of many of her students in this 44%. Aimee believes in a school where caregivers are given the tools they need to support their child’s literacy skill development.
Aimee developed a literacy workshop for caregivers, to promote their engagement and confidence in developing their child’s literacy skills.
She sent out a questionnaire to the parents of Reception children at her school, asking if anyone would be interested in attending and the days and times it was most likely they’d be able to come along. After not receiving too many surveys back, Aimee made phone calls and spoke to parents, asking them the questions over the phone instead. Using the survey data to decide on a time and date, Aimee sent out invitations to all of the caregivers of the Reception and Year 1 students at her school. She also invited support staff and other staff members who might benefit or be interested in attending.
Aimee then developed the literacy workshop, using THRASS charts for parents and video footage of students in her class to use for case studies with the parents. She also prepared a questionnaire for the parents in attendance at the workshop to fill out at the end so that Aimee could collect feedback about the usefulness of the workshop and to inform her next steps.
Seven parents came along to Aimee’s literacy workshop, four of whom were caregivers for children in Reception and Year 1, along with a support staff member, a pastoral care worker and the school principal. On the questionnaires at the end of the workshop, Aimee received feedback that the workshop was extremely useful and a desire for future literacy workshops to be run was expressed.
“I have a 6 year old student in my class who is a selective mute. He comes from a non-English speaking background, and whilst he speaks with his family at home, he doesn’t speak to any adults or peers at school. His father came to my literacy workshop and the next day he told me that he’d taken the THRASS chart we use with the students home. He was absolutely beaming about how much his child was able to tell him (letters of the alphabet, consonants, vowels, etc..).”
Like the idea?
Aimee would love your support for Literacy Workshops, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch with Aimee and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
#WhatChangeLooksLike #ECStories #EduChange