Christchurch City Libraries 'Ready for Reading'


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Report on the experiences of the evaluation team as they planned and implemented interventions working with children of teen mothers.

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Christchurch City Libraries 'Ready for Reading'

  1. 1. Christchurch City Libraries ‘Ready For Reading’ Librarians and Teachers working together to strengthen literacy opportunities for a group of marginalised preschoolers Philippa Buckley, Brad Meek, & Pat Street Diversity Challenge Resilience: School Libraries in Action - The 12th Biennial School Library Association of Queensland, the 39th International Association of School Librarianship Annual Conference, incorporating the 14th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship, Brisbane, QLD Australia, 7 September – 1 October 2010.
  2. 2. Overview •Share one strand of the journey of the R4R project •Set the context and partnership of library and education •Project Background What we did…and why we did it •Our discoveries while working with marginalised groups •Strengths of the partnership •Where to next?
  3. 3. Christchurch Introducing Christchurch…. In 2006 • 348,435 people • 41% male • 70% have some formal educational qualification • 47,196 people aged over 65 (14 %)
  4. 4. University of Canterbury College of Education Teacher Education
  5. 5. CCL - partner
  6. 6. Christchurch City Libraries CCC Strategic Directions from LTCCP Strong Communities Increase involvement in lifelong learning, by: •providing resources and information through libraries and websites •provide learning facilities, programmes and activities •advocating for high quality education and training •encouraging people of all ages to take advantage of learning opportunities. Promote participation in democratic processes by: •making it easy for people to understand and take part in Council decision-making processes. Also links to Healthy Environment and Prosperous Economy
  7. 7. Christchurch City Libraries Informing Inspiring Empowering Inclusive Entertaining
  8. 8. Social Inclusion CCL Life Long Learning Strategy
  9. 9. Commitment to Life Long Learning “Our learning opportunities help us participate in the community and the economy. Quality education is available for people of all ages” Christchurch City Council “Public libraries engage, inspire and inform citizens and help build strong communities” Kia āwhina te hunga ora, ki te hāngaia o rātou ake āo Public Libraries of NZ Strategic Framework Underachieving tail has a disproportionate representation of children from marginalised lower socio-economic groups Crooks and Flockton
  10. 10. Christchurch City Libraries Pre-school years • Developing ‘habits of mind’ • Family focus Love of reading Numeracy Simple location Learning together Fun • Supporting parents and caregivers
  11. 11. Christchurch City Libraries Pre-school Programmes • Baby time Wā Pēpi • Story time Wā Kōrero • Pre-school Outreach • Ready Steady Click • Other services Books for Babies Ready 4 Reading
  12. 12. Project Ready for Reading Ready for Reading launched in 2008 Evolved as a literacy package Compliment the work of Books for Babies Gift from the City to all four year olds Family pre-school outreach team deliver Question of on-going sustainability How do we know it is making a difference?
  13. 13. The Ready for Reading Kit - R4R The R4R Kit contains: * Puzzle * Book suitable for shared reading (one line captions) * Parent Information Card Also included are a birthday card, library enrolment and programme details, together with a survey seeking feedback about the kit.
  14. 14. The New Zealand Context Literacy Education The development of literacy is a key priority within New Zealand education. (Ministry of Education, 2009) New Zealand provides effective literacy instruction practises that meet the needs of most children, however particular cohorts of children make slower progress than others. (Mullis, Martin, Kennedy, & Foy, 2007; Chamberlain, 2007) New Zealand’s underachieving ‘tail’ is made up mainly of children from marginalised and lower socio-economic groups. (Crooks and Flockton, 2005; McNaughton, 2002)
  15. 15. The New Zealand Context Literacy Education Particular knowledge, skills, and attitudes support the transition to school. These include rich oral language foundation, the ability to write your name, awareness of concepts about print (CAP), and the some alphabet knowledge. (Ministry of Education, 2010) Concepts About Print (CAP) are developed through experiences with text Directionality One-to-one correspondence Return sweep Identification of a ‘word’ and a ‘letter’ Development of phonological understandings
  16. 16. The New Zealand Context Literacy Education Many NZ educators hold a socio-cultural view of education with an underlying belief that “much that is relevant to the development of literacy occurs before a child first passes through the schoolhouse door” (Pressley, 2006, p96). Children from lower socio-economic families are less likely to be immersed in supportive oral interactions that promote dialogue and encourage thinking. (Hart and Risley,1995) Children in low SES groups and cultural minority groups are less likely to have exposure to quality storybook reading (Hammer, 1999, 2001; van Kleeck, 2004) The CCL team was clear that whilst the R4R resource had been developed for all families, the particular focus was on children of families that did not have an ongoing connection with the library.
  17. 17. R4R Project Ready for Reading – Teen Mothers Target Group: Teen Mothers Located from: Library Outreach and Social Agency contacts Intervention: Two Workshops The focus was explaination and elaboration on the contents of the kit, in particular ‘unlocking’ the ideas contained within the Parent Information Card Social Agency feedback unanimously positive ‘…so enthusiastic…’ ‘…fabulous idea…’ ‘...encouraging...’
  18. 18. R4R Project Challenge One - Recruitment Teen reaction unanimously negative What’s in it for ME? Reading seen as ‘difficult’ or ‘boring’ rather than pleasurable Text selection – limited exposure to engaging picture books Level of commitment suggested
  19. 19. R4R Project Teen Mothers @ Kimihia Teen Parenting unit at Linwood College, Christchurch Teen mothers wishing to return to secondary school study Mothers (from age 14) with children (babies through to approx 3 years old) Kimihia Staff very supportive of R4R including workshops as part of English NCEA Programme 1. Two R4R workshops 2. Preparation of an enlarged text 3. Whanau time – reading opportunities Kimihia mothers were representative of a ‘hard to reach’ cohort
  20. 20. R4R Project Challenge Two – Locating NZ’s four year olds Finding New Zealand’s ‘hard to reach’ is challenging – as early childhood education is non-compulsory... …however recently introduced government policy ‘20 hours free’ (for children over 3) provides potential for accessing children from marginalised cohorts
  21. 21. R4R Project Challenge Two – The Intervention Our Vision Warm positive tone Motivated & Engaged Language Rich Issue 1: ‘Capturing’ the audience Use of Baby Times and Story Times model Themes: song, rhyme, hooking children’s interest, having fun Issue 2: Clear communication of the KEY message – ‘Sharing a Text’ ‘Reaching’ teen mums thorough a text ‘Handy hints for starting school’ ** A knowledge of the process of print acquisition underpins the ability to plan and implement a strategy that models, describes and discuss the key features of literacy development.
  22. 22. R4R Project Implications for Interventions Engage parents via their children. This acts as a model but also relies on a strong ‘performance’ element from a skilled leader If the intervention includes ‘content’ for parents then the children need to be withdrawn Further engage parents thorough support footage (DVD) and conversation to ‘unpack’ examples Careful selection of the person to lead the intervention Communicate ease and confidence working with marginalised parents Social ‘connectedness’ – language use, age, dress Strong understanding of the stages of print literacy acquisition
  23. 23. R4R Project Strengths of the CCL / UC Partnership Collaboration around initial resource development (in particular the Parent Information Booklet) Affirmation of existing library preschool programmes Springboard off known strengths (Performance, Outreach) Strong Outreach connections Literacy positioned within a ‘next step’ education context Outreach model directly connected to a NZ educational imperative Enrichment of understanding of the Reading Process Research awareness
  24. 24. R4R Project Where to Next?