VACCA has run the Books in Home program since 2006 to not only inspire a love of reading in the school age children in
our programs but to help support a connection to community and culture.
Three times a year the children receive a catalogue from which they choose three books. A celebration is organised to hand out the books. A community artist, Elder or musician is invited to come and run a session with the children and to hand out their books. Authors, football players, Elders, musicians and artists have all taken part in these celebrations and the children love coming together and listening to and being inspired by the various community members’ stories. In addition the children are adding nine books to their home libraries each year.
- Aboriginal children in VACCA’s foster, kinship and other care will develop select, read and care for their books;
- Children and their carers will make reading a daily activity and books become an everyday part of their homes and lives;
- Children will learn from Aboriginal Elders and role models the importance and continuity of Aboriginal storytelling traditions and narratives;
- Foster and kinship carers will grow more confident to read and share books with children in their care
- Children will form positive community connections with Aboriginal Elders and other positive community role models.
- Aboriginal children in VACCA’s care will develop or strengthen a lifelong love for books and reading;
- Participating children’s literacy will improve.
- Connection to community and culture will grow
VACCA held two celebrations in the September school holidays
for the Books in Homes Program.
For children in our Northern programs we organised a book making workshop with Kids Own Publishing who is a not-for-profit arts organisation that empowers children, families and communities to share their stories through artist-led processes and community publishing.
Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Colin Hunter started the session with a Welcome to Country and then shared two traditional
stories with the children – one about Bunjil and one about Kuburu the Koala. Supporting Uncle Colin was linguist Mandy Nicholson from the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation of Languages who supported the children in learning Wurundjeri language and wrote up words on the board for the children to use in their own stories.
The children were then taught by Victoria Ryle from Kids Own Publishing how to use the bookmaking App WePublish. Inspired by the stories from Uncle Colin and the language shared by Mandy they were each given an iPad and went off to write their own stories using the App.
It was a great day and some of the carers have since gone on to buy the WePublish App to continue using at home.
For information on Book In Homes:
For information on Kids Own Publishing:
For information on The Victorian Aboriginal Corporation of Languages
The Books in Home project is funded by the Readings Foundation.