Li­brary lit­er­acy pro­gram to help young mi­grants Spot­light on learn­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Alexis Gill­ham alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A NEW Townsville li­braries pro­gram is set to ben­e­fit young mi­grants with low lit­er­acy lev­els.

Cul­tur­ally spe­cific sto­ry­time and baby rhyme will also be part of the new gov­ern­ment funded mul­ti­cul­tural pro­gram.

Ci­tyLi­braries

Townsville will launch Con­nect­ing Cul­tures Through Sto­ries and Con­ver­sa­tion af­ter win­ning $ 15,000 t hrough t he 2011 Multi c ul t ur a l Assi s t a nce Pro­gram.

T h e p r o g r a m i n c l u d e s home­work help and English con­ver­sa­tion ses­sions for s c h o o l s t u d e n t s . T h e s e ses­sions de­velop English com­pe­tence through ac­tiv­i­ties such as sport, art and dig­i­tal sto­ry­telling to more for­mal ac­tiv­i­ties like as­sis­tance with read­ing and writ­ing.

Coun­cil’s Life­long Learn­ing co-or­di­na­tor Dr Ju­dith J e ns e n s a i d t he p r o j e c t would fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing the lit­er­acy of new mi­grants and fos­ter a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of mi­grants’ lives in the wider com­mu­nity.

‘‘ By as­sist­ing new mi­grants to boost their English lit­er­acy, we hope to . . . build self­es­teem and con­fi­dence,’’ Dr Jensen said.

‘‘ We hope that through the se­ries of ac­tiv­i­ties, the mul­ti­cul­tural com­mu­nity will view our li­brary branches as wel­com­ing pl aces where their cul­tures are val­ued.’’

Townsville Mul­ti­cul­tural Sup­port Group man­ager Meg Davis said the li­brary had al­ways been con­sid­ered a place where fam­i­lies could con­nect with rel­a­tives they hadn’t spo­ken to for a while.

Tu­tor­ing ses­sions will also be held at the li­brary in p a r t ner s hi p wit h J a mes Cook Univer­sity and a reg­u­lar ‘ ‘ cafe con­ver­sa­tion’’ session in English for adults based around ad­just­ing to Aus­tralia and seek­ing em­ploy­ment.

This pro­gram has been de­signed to help new mi­grants gain self-es­teem and con­fi­dence to be com­pet­i­tive in the em­ploy­ment mar­ket.

A ded­i­cated pro­ject of­fi­cer will be em­ployed tem­po­rar­ily to get the scheme off the ground but it will be sus­tained by ex­ist­ing li­brary staff and vol­un­teers.

The pro­gram will cater for all ages.

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