Michelle is a passionate early years teacher, working in the western suburbs of Adelaide. She believes in kindergarten where teachers and families are partners in their children’s learning. However, at the start of the Changemaker Journey, Michelle noticed that families weren’t reading with their children because they felt challenged and lacked confidence, and children didn’t have access to books at home.
Michelle set about to engage and empower families about their child’s learning through reading. She did this through a number of initiatives, including;
- A ‘Stay and Learn’ session for children and their families, aimed at gaining an understanding of what Michelle’s learning community needs.
- Partnering with the Little Big Book Club who kindly donated books for Michelle’s kindergarten library.
- Partnering with Storyville, meaning that a retired actor visits Michelle’s centre once a week to read to the kids.
- Being part of the ‘Paint The West REaD’ group, supporting their opening night and taking children and their families along.
- Hosting a ‘Paint The West Read’ night time event at Michelle’s kindergarten.
- Liaising with the DECD CALD Support, beginning the discussions with the Department about making resources videos for English and Arabic speakers.
- Making a shared newsletter for staff at Michelle’s kindergarten about the project and initiatives, keeping everyone in the loop and providing information about opportunities for engagement.
Michelle’s project has had an impact on about 70 children to date and hopes to continue programs for teachers, families and children to learn together at the new Pennington’s Children Centre which opens in 2018.
Another staff member shared the following insight with Michelle…
“After a hard term I felt privileged to attend the ‘Goodnight Egg’ event. I can feel a strong sense of community and that we are making a difference.”
Like the idea?
Michelle would love your support for A Reading Community 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 Michelle and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.
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