Raising Literacy Australia

Programme name Country Date of information
Raising Literacy Australia
RLA Reading Pack
Read to Me
Australia 6th June 2019
Question Answer
About the Organisation  
Organisation name Raising Literacy Australia Incorporated
Organisation address 100b Fullarton Road, Norwood South Australia 5067 (enter off of Polomka Lane). PO Box 147, Kent Town, South Australia 5071
Goal/objective RLA is a not-for-profit organisation committed to enriching lives through literacy. Through universal and targeted programs, we support families to read, talk, play and sing with their children from birth; providing books and resources to nurture young children’s development and information for parents to encourage rich home learning environments; and professional learning for the early childhood workforce.
Contact Person Susan Hill
Position of Contact Person Chief Executive Officer
Organisation website www.raisingliteracy.org.au; www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au; www.littlebookpress.com.au
Organisation type1 Not for Profit, registered with Australian Charity and Not for Profit Commission.  ABN 740 511 82 680
How many staff does your organisation employ? 6 people
About the Programme  
Basic details  
Programme name Raising Literacy Australia Reading Pack program
Country/Province/City where the programme takes place South Australia – statewide
Year started 2005
Programme goal/objective •  To increase awareness of the importance of reading with children from infancy •  To encourage parents to read regularly to their young children •  To encourage parents to visit and join their local public library •  To encourage the establishment of home libraries •  To provide easy access to support resources for parents and those in the early childhood sector including: care providers, educators, speech pathologist, librarians, students, outreach workers etc. •  To improve children’s emergent literacy skills prior to entering formal education •  To encourage parents and carers to engage in conversation with their children to assist in the development of language and comprehension skills •  To develop a lifelong love of books and reading.
Funding sources Government funding, philanthropic funding, small grants, donations and revenue from RLA publishing house – Little Book Press. Through the Little Book Press we produce in conjunction with established and emerging children’s authors and illustrators high quality early childhood board books, picture books and educational resources. The resources are included in our FREE RLA Reading pack program, we also sell to general public via normal channels and sell the resources at reduced prices to like-minded organisations who support their families in their communities with literacy programs and intervention programs.
Geographic coverage Across the whole of South Australia – each year we provide 65,000 free reading packs – 21,000 baby reading packs, 21,000 toddler reading packs and 23,000 preschool reading packs.  We also have a Read to Me program which supports all children who are in Out of Home Care in South Australia between the ages of birth and 6 years.
Are you involved in any other comparable networks? We provide resources and professional learning to a number of initiatives across Australia including Better Beginnings in Western Australia, First Five Forever in Queensland, Victorian and South Australian Public Libraries, ALIA (Australian Library Information Association) and ALEA (Australian Literacy & Education Association)
Purpose of the programme
Not for profit? Not for profit
Religious or political purpose? None
Local consistency of model
Is your programme model consistent across your geographic area, or are there regional differences? The RLA Reading programme is consistent across the state of South Australia. We do, when available, adjust the content in the RLA Reading packs to provide appropriate books for Aboriginal and multicultural families.
Book Packs
What are the contents of your gifting pack? 21,000 – 2019 Baby Reading packs • 2 board books My Every Day shapes – Black & White Lets Play – gentle rhythm and rhyme • 2 picture books Hush Say the Stars Let’s Go StrollingNusery Rhymes for Every Day A5 Booklet & CD – 14 songs & 14 instrumental •  Black & White Tummy Time cards •  Read, Sing, Talk & Play A5 booklet for parents/carers. Provides information for parents and carers to help understand the importance of bonding and positive parental engagement from birth plus age appropriate book selections. • Dental brochure – supporting oral health • Calico library bag  
21,000 – 2019 Toddler Reading packs •  Busy Little Creatures – picture book •  Garden Stew – picture book •  Jump and Shout – picture book •  I Spy Food – picture book •  I Spy Food – A4 activity book •  I Spy Food – A4 x 6 puzzles •  Read, Sing, Talk & Play Parent/Carer A5 booklet – information for parents and carers to support their understanding on importance of bonding and positive engagement from birth and book selections. •  Read, Sing, Talk & Play A5 booklet for parents/carers. Provides information for parents and carers to help understand the importance of bonding and positive parental engagement from birth plus age appropriate book selections. •  Dental brochure – supporting oral health •  Calico library bag  
21,000 – 2019 Preschool Reading packs •  Grug plays cricket– picture book •  Mrs Mole I’m Home – picture book •  One Funky Monkey – picture book •  A is for Australia– picture book •  STEM – A4 activity book – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – 4 activities per title based on every day play activities in around around the home – 16 activities in total for parent and carers to do with their child/ren. •  Read, Sing, Talk & Play A5 booklet for parents/carers. Provides information for parents and carers to help understand the importance of bonding and positive parental engagement from birth plus age appropriate book selections. •  Dental brochure – supporting oral health •  Calico library bag   We work closely with a number of practitioners (early childhood educators, librarians, speech pathologists, trauma practitioners, writers and illustrators) to support the development of our reading packs resources. Focus on numeracy, literacy, food literacy, oral health, friendships, diversity, bonding unstructured and structured play etc.
Is your programme offered free of charge to all families? Yes, free to all families across South Australia who have a baby, toddler and preschooler – whether parent, grandparent, foster carer or kinship carer.
Partnerships and Delivery
What are your primary ‘points of contact’ with the population you serve? 21,000 Baby Reading packs every year are distributed via the Child and Family Health Home Visiting program within first 6 weeks of family having the baby – 96% of families are given their first pack by the CaFHS health nurse in their home.
Hospital – premature units
NGOs and Outreach services supporting vulnerable families
Royal Flying Doctors Service  

21,000 – Toddler Reading packs – every year
Child & Family Health Extended home visiting program for vulnerable families up to 2 years.
Dept Education and Catholic Education supported playgroups
Dept Eduction Parenting and Children’s Centres
Regional Play Centres
Regional Occasional Care facilities
Aboriginal Supported Playgroups APY Lands
Aboriginal Allied Health clinics
Selected Immunistaion clinics
NGOs and Outreach Services
Allied Health – Speech pathologist, Dietiticians etc
Royal Flying Doctors Service
Selected General Practitioners  

Preschool Reading packs
94% of the 23,000 packs are distributed to preschools where the Preschool Director gives the packs to the families with messages on importance of continued reading with their children etc during transition visits or the child’s first week of preschool/kindergarten.
NGOs and Outreach Services
Allied Health – Speech pathologist, Dietiticians etc
Royal Flying Doctors Service
Selected General Practitioners
Who gifts/hands-out your pack to families? a)  healthcare workers b)  early literacy specialists c)  Preschool teachers d)  Speech Pathologist e)  Social Workers f)   Early childhood workers g)  Intervention programs and caseworkers h)  Residential Care workers
Other programme partnerships We work closely with South Australian Department of Education, South Australian Department for Health, South Australian Department for Oral Health. We also support the Salvation Army, Save the Children, Mission South Australia, Relationship Australia, Domestic Violence Services, United Care Wesley, Anglicare, Helen Mayo House – mentally vulnerable mothers, Lyell McEwin Hospital Mothercarer program, Women’s & Childrens Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre Hospital Premature Units.
If your programme uses volunteers, please give some more details Each year we package up the 65,000 reading packs with the help of 500+ volunteers over the course of a week. Volunteers come from all walks of life to help with the packing of the bags. The packs are then stored with a local courier company who distribute as per the predetermined allocations to the metropolitan, regional and remote sites across South Australia over the course of the year.
Audience
Is the programme universal or targeted? The RLA Reading Pack program is universal accessing all families with children birth to five years of age and the early childhood workforce across the whole of South Australia.  

Read to Me program– is a targeted program for children in Out of Home Care (foster, kinship and residential care) up to 6 years of age.  We are working on extending this program to 12years of age.   Read to Me –home library program – provides community giving libraries with up to 400 carefully selected board and picture books, bookcase, weekly tips and literacy programming to community hubs, care centres etc in vulnerable communities.  Allowing vulnerable families access to quality picture and board books in their community. We know that vulnerable families are hesitant to access books for their children through public librariers for a number of reasons – including damage to the books, cost to replace, low literacy levels, having to join the library etc.  

Featured Stories Monthly Selection program:
Supporting all Australian Children’s publishing houses, families and children’s services. Aim: to support Australian families and the early childhood sector with age appropriate story book selections, rich in language and illustrations, to share with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Each month three quality picture/board books are selected and promoted across South Australia and Australia: •  dedicated website www.thelittlebigbookclub.com.au – linked to Booktopia so all titles are available to buy •  dedicated facebookpage – https://www.facebook.com/thelittlebigbookclub/ •  Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thelittlebigbookclub/?hl=en •  YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/thelittlebigbookclub •  Educational resources and activity sheets accompany each title selected every month. Free to download via e- newsletter, Facebook and the Little Big Book Club website. •  Print media – monthly advertisements across SA – Advertiser, Sunday Mail and Messenger papers •  E-newsletter – national reach each month to libraries, parents, early childhood sector etc  

Professional Learning for early childhood sector
Building Foundations for Early Learning (BFEL) is a professional learning package for early childhood workers. Parent education sessions are also offered.  
BFEL workshops use a strengths-based approach to integrate literacy rich practices in family and community programs. Workshops cover evidence-based research and effective practices that promote children’s learning. We also provide parenting sessions to build an understanding of early childhood development, positive role-modelling and how to include story time and play-based learning as part of a family’s everyday activities.  
The BFEL professional learning package is based on National Education Early Learning Framework, 11 Child Development Statements and research on early childhood brain development.  Since 2012 we have successfully provided professional learning workshops and resources to the early childhood workforce across Australia – libraries, early childhood educators, outreach and case workers, social workers etc.  Between 2016 and 2018 we undertook the training for all Victorian Public libraries. Developing resourecs and running 4 major seminars and 25 workshops.  
We currently are working on a eLearning platform to enable the to early childhood workforce across Australia easy access to professional learning and practical hands on coaching and role modelling.
How many children does your programme serve a year? 65,000 + families
At what age/gifting period do children receive your programme. Reading packs a)   Birth to 12 months b)   Toddler – 18months to 30 months c)    Preschool – 3 ½ to 5 years
Diversity provision
Does your program include provisions or resources for children with special needs? Not yet, looking at developing braille resources and sensory books 2020 and beyond.
What language populations does your programme serve? English
Multilingual – have developed some resources to support new arrival families including multilingual picture books, nursery rhyme DVD and CD and play adjuncts.
Evaluation and research
Have you conducted programme evaluation or research (including longitudinal)? If yes, has this evaluation/research been published? The Babies and Books longitudinal study undertaken by University of South Australia into family reading (2011- 2013) is comprised of three on-line spaced surveys that explores reading practices of young families and detailed case studies of family literacy programs. The study aims to: •  explore the impact of the RLA Reading program and a range of family literacy programs on the reading and language practices of families of young children aged birth to two years. •  understand the changing reading practices of diverse families with children from birth to five years. •  explore what may contribute to the sustainability of family literacy programs for families of children birth to five years
Further information or comments
Please give us any further information that would be helpful for understanding your programme Ultimately as an organisation we want to support families with the understanding that the home learning environment is fundamental in supporting children’s key development stages including– speech and language, cognitive, self-regualtion and empathy. By providing information in a familiar and accessible manner we strive to support families to read, talk, sing and play with their children every day, particularly in the first five years, with an intense focus in the first three years. We also support the early childhood sector through professional learning, access to free foundational numeracy and literacy resources, and current research on early childhood brain development.  By providing up to date information, accessible resources and support to the sector we hope to support consistent messaging to families on importance of the early years and that positive parenting practices have lasting effect on their child’s lifelong learning, social inclusion and physical and mental well being.
Further comments Across Australia we also support intervention and literacy programs through professional learning, access to our free online resources. The price point that we sell our resources to likeminded organisations is at an accessible level that allows even the smallest initiatives the opportunity of running literacy programs and the giving of free reading packs to families in their communities.


Question Answer
About the Programme  
Basic details  
Programme name Read to Me
Country/Province/City where the programme takes place South Australia – statewide
Year started 2015
Programme goal/objective RLA Inc to establish a sustainable program designed to assist in the development of emergent literacy skills and language for young South Australian children in ‘Out of Home Care’ in partnership with Dept Child Protection.   Over the past two decades research has shed greater light on how babies and toddlers learn. It is now universally accepted that reading regularly with young children is probably the single most important activity that you can undertake to develop a child’s ability to read and write.   Unfortunately for many children that enter care, reading, sharing books and just engaging in conversation hasn’t been part of their crucial formative years.  
Aims: •  To provide opportunities for children in care to develop a love of books and in so doing, help develop their emergent literacy skills and improve their changes of lifelong learning. •  To support the carers and professionals of children in care by providing resources and professional development that models reading, talking, singing and playing with very young children. •  To raise awareness of the importance of reading aloud to children from infancy    
Program elements: •  Establishment of individual libraries for each child in ‘Out of Home Care’ by providing 10 appropriately selected picture and board books posted direct to their care home on entering the care system. •  Provide an additional picture/board book every month to each child posted direct to their home. •  Provide play based activities to extend the engagement between child and carer/s •  Further development of training program for carers and professionals who engaged with the children
Funding sources Government and philanthropic funding
Geographic coverage South Australia – statewide to every child in the Out of Home Care system from birth to 6years of age.
Other networks We work closely with Department for Child Protection, NGOs that service care families and Foster Care Association.
Purpose of the programme
Not for profit? Not for profit
Religious or political purpose? None
Local consistency of model
Is your programme model consistent across your geographic area, or are there regional differences? Consistent across the state.
Book Packs
What are the contents of your gifting pack? We have a long established relationship with Australian publishing houses where we purchase appropriate board and picture books for Read to Me program.  Being mindful of the trauma our Read to Me children have had and continue to have in their lives we select the titles.   So far over 100 board and picture titles have been selected.   Titles are drilled down to suit the age of the child for example:
Start up library – 10 books given to each child when they enter the system.
Baby Start up Home Library– board & picture books and play adjuncts • Nursery Rhyme for Every day CD and booklet • It’s Rhyme Time DVD and booklet • My First Shapes – black & white board book • Read to Me – rolemodelling DVD – with over 2 hours of stories being read to camera • Where is the Green Sheep? • Who Sank the Boat? • Very Hungry Caterpillar • Dear Zoo • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy • We’re going on a bearhunt • Bears on chairs • Guess how much I love you • Hop up! Wiggle over! • Boom Bah! • You are my special baby • Lets go to sleep • Night watch • Fabulous Fishes • One Funky Monkey  
Toddler Start up Home Library–board and picture books • Nursery Rhyme for Every day CD and booklet • It’s Rhyme Time DVD and booklet • My First Coloured Shapes • Read to Me – rolemodelling DVD – with over 2 hours of stories being read to camera • Summer Rain • Guess How Much I Love You • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt • Come count with me • Maisy goes camping • Little Chicken Chickabee • Maisy goes on Holiday • Nursey rhymes – lift the flap • Bilby Moon • Construction • Sea Dog • Who Sank the boat • Two Little Monkeys • When I’m feeling – ANGRY • When I’m feeling – JEALOUS • When I’m feeling – KIND • When I’m feeling – HAPPY • When I’m feeling – SAD • When I’m feeling – SCARED • When I’m feeling – LONELY • When I’m feeling – LOVED • Very Hungry Caterpillar
Preschool Start up Home library – picture books • Summer Rain • Guess How Much I Love You • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt • Ted • Night watch • Kick with my left foot • Maisy goes on Holiday • Little Chicken Chickabee • So Cosy • Is there a Dog in this book • Ballroom bonanza • Sea Dog • Fabulous Fishes • Cat • Jeremy
Monthly top up titles . 2019 June, July & August distribution include. Baby  – posted June to Aug 2019. Who says moo? Is it You? Baby Touch – Happy Birthday My Every Day Shapes. Toddler – posted June to Aug 2019. Where is Turtle – board book. Maisy goes to the library – picture book. Lets go strolling – picture book. Preschool – posted June to Aug 2019 Well Done Little Bear – picture book Slinky Malkini Early Bird – picture book Maisy goes to the library – picture book   A letter, activities and bookplates stickers accompany the books.
Is your programme offered free of charge to all families? Yes, free to all children in Out of Home Care in SA.
Partnerships and Delivery
What are your primary ‘points of contact’ with the population you serve? Currently we are in contact with: •     Aboriginal Family Support Services (AFSS) •     ac.care •     Anglicare SA •     Centacare •     Lutheran Community Care •     Uniting Care Wesley •     Time for Kids (Respite) •     Connecting Foster Carers
Who gifts/hands-out your pack to families? The packs are posted direct to the children through the Department of Eduction Distribution Centre. We package up the book packs per age bracket, hand the packs to the Dept Education Distribution Centre who add the home addresses and post to the children through Australia Post.
Other programme partnerships We work closely with South Australian Department of Education and Department Child Protection. Connecting Foster Carers.
If your programme uses volunteers, please give some more details Cochranes Transport a South Australian courier and trucking company warehouses our book stock. Cochranes staff also package up the Start Up Home Library pack of 10 books, label and keep at their site for distribuiton direct to Department of Education Distribution Centre. We also, have individuals and corporate workers who come to our office once a month to package up the additional book packs (top up home libraries).
Audience
Is the programme universal or targeted? Read to Me program – is a targeted program for children in Out of Home Care (foster, kinship and residential care) up to 6 years of age.  We are working on extending this program to 12years of age.   Read to Me –home library program – provides community giving libraries with up to 400 carefully selected board and picture books, bookcase, weekly tips and literacy programming to community hubs, care centres etc in vulnerable communities. Allowing vulnerable families access to quality picture and board books in their community. We know that vulnerable families are hesitant to access books for their children through public librariers for a number of reasons – including damage to the books, cost to replace, low literacy levels, having to join the library etc.
How many children does your programme serve a year? 2000+ children and their care families.   Plus additional 5,000 families through the read to me community home libraries.
At what age/gifting period do children receive your programme. 0 – 1 year, 1 to 2 years, 2 to 3 years, 3 to 4 years, and 4 to 5 years, 5 to 6 years
Diversity provision Not yet, looking at developing braille resources and sensory books 2020 and beyond.
What language populations does your programme serve? English Multilingual – have developed some resources to support new arrival families including multilingual picture books, nursery rhyme DVD and CD and play adjuncts.
Evaluation and research
Have you conducted programme evaluation or research (including longitudinal)? If yes, has this evaluation/research been published?   We have surveyed our families three times during the life of this program. These results have not been published are provided to our government and funding partners.   80% of responses reported that the books and resources in the Read to Me pack helped to establish regular time for reading, singing, talking and playing.   The remainder of responses highlighted that these practices were already highly regarded and important in the household, and that the project enabled books to be delivered direct to children and add to their home libraries.
The Read to Me project….
❖  has given us great ideas and it really helped with the reading
❖  made me sit down with them and read to them
❖  should be made available to all children – what a great project
❖  Fantastic! We live in a remote area and children’s books are not as easy to access for us.
❖  Positive. Bringing new books into our house on a regular basis & activities to do with them was fantastic
❖  Many children who come into care have not had this quality time spent with them. There is no age limit in enjoying listening to stories or reading together. It is a fabulous way to help children bond with their new family.
❖  Teaching children how precious books are has been great, these books encourages adults and children to spend time together but also aids with bonding.  Thank you
❖  Love to see the program extended. Its priceless for all of us to enjoy a good read, we hope lots of families are getting what we are out of the kindness of the little big book club.
❖  My 4 year old foster child was so happy to see that she had got some books. I loved seeing her so happy.
❖  I love the books with Aboriginal themes that have filtered through. This is a fantastic initiative. Thank you.
❖  We really appreciate this program and receiving the book packs. I can assure you they have been put to good use!!
Further information or comments
Please give us any further information that would be helpful for understanding your programme Ultimately as an organisation we want to support families with the understanding that the home learning environment is fundamental in supporting children’s key development stages including– speech and language, cognitive, self-regualtion and empathy. By providing information in a familiar and accessible manner we strive to support families to read, talk, sing and play with their children every day, particularly in the first five years, with an intensive focus in the first three years. We also support the early childhood sector through professional learning, access to free foundational numeracy and literacy resources, and current research on early childhood brain development.  By providing up to date information, accessible resources and support to the sector we hope to support consistent messaging to families on importance of the early years and that positive parenting practices have lasting effect on their child’s lifelong learning, social inclusion and physical and mental well being.
Further comments Across Australia we also support intervention and literacy programs through professional learning, access to our free online resources and by purchasing at likeminded price access to high quality children’s board and picture books, nursery rhyme CDS and DVDs and activity books. The price point that we sell our resources is at an accessible level that allows even the smallest initiatives the opportunity of running literacy programs and the giving of free reading packs to families in their communities.