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Minimbah Primary School students have become the first in the nation to receive a pack of books encouraging healthy living after hosting the launch of the series last week. The program, funded by the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation (ALF), will see 80,000 early-reader books given away to 20,000 disadvantaged Indigenous children throughout Australia in coming months.
The books carry health and wellbeing messages and were written to reflect Aboriginal characters, focus on Aboriginal interests, and will include illustrations of the remote Australian landscape. The ALF hopes that the books will not only advance progression towards closing the literacy gap, but also contribute to closing the gap in health status between Indigenous and other Australians.
The four books in the Healthy Living series each carry messages which will help educate children and their families about essential life lessons such as healthy eating, safe play, feeling good, and self-esteem. The series was written by author and literacy expert Jennifer Cooper-Trent, who has also written the renowned phonic reading program Fantastic Phonics.
ALF Chief Executive Officer Dr Anthony Cree says the need in Indigenous communities for books such as these is long overdue. 'Children want to read books with characters and stories that they can relate to and that interest them. A wide range of health problems are prevalent in remote communities, many of which exist through a lack of basic health education. Whilst we improve the literacy standards of these young children we hope that we can also instil some simple but essential healthy living messages,' Dr Cree said.
The ALF will begin distributing the books to communities throughout Australia this month.
Source: Aboriginal Literacy Foundation
Aboriginal Literacy Foundation
Ph: (03) 9650 1006