LITERACY LIBRARIES PROGRAM
The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation increase literacy rates by giving children in developing communities access to e-readers and e-libraries.
Why we fund e-readers and e-libraries: The experience of reading a physical book is one that many of us cherish, however technology increases a child's opportunity for learning and literacy. Providing a school with e-readers and an e-library delivers a cost effective in-class teaching tool (as all the children can use the same books at the same time), as well as providing access to a wide range of reading materials and text books. Providing a child in a remote community with an e-reader provides access to a much broader range of literature than donating physical books.
How literacy resources are delivered to the communities that need them: Resources funded by the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation are delivered our partner charities - expert, capable and reputable not for profit organisations with similar missions and values - as this is far more cost effective than establishing duplicate infrastructures. This ensures that your donation to the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation is not spent on large operating costs and, as a result, 100% of the money you donate will be spent on literacy resources for developing communities.
Current fundraising appeals:
We are currently raising funds to buy e-readers and a new e-library for schools and readers across Africa and India (in partnership with Worldreader) and to provide e-readers and a larger e-library for remote Indigenous children in Australia (in partnership with the Indigenous Reading Project), see below for more details. When you make a donation you will be asked which of these projects you would like your donation to support.
Schools in Africa and India:
As an example of our work with Worldreader, we have recently funded e-readers and a new e-library for the Suhum MA Experimental C School in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Suhum is a peri-urban town and Worldreader have been working with the school for six years - more details below.
According to the project manager for the Suhum school, Michael Sem who also doubles as the Primary 3 teacher, the e-reading program was a timely intervention for both pupils and teachers in Suhum M/A Experimental 'C' Primary School:
“It came to salvage the poor reading habit of pupils in the Suhum Municipality. Since the inception of the e-reading program by Worldreader, there has been impressive progress in the teaching and learning process for us. The pupils have adopted a positive reading culture because of the various and many reading materials on the e-reader. They also love the local stories that talks about their everyday lives. They can easily relate to the stories and this makes them eager to read more. Majority of the children in my class have read all the stories on the e-reader. They are always asking me to download new stories on their e-readers for them…”
“As teachers, we have also benefited greatly from the usage of the e-readers. Because the e-readers have teacher guides and teaching materials, we use them in preparing our lesson notes. You know sometimes we even forget that there was a shortage of textbooks in the school. Because of the textbooks on the e-readers, we don’t worry about textbooks at all. What impresses us most is the rate at which pupils read! The e-reader have relatively had a tremendous impact on the overall academic performance. Pupils now read with a level of confidence and precision… something that we never had before”
“Because we had our e-readers for close to 7 years and the kids have used them over and over again, the e-readers are seeing the effects of wear and tear. This has become worrying because pupils are now used to e-reading and become upset when they don’t get to use and e-reader. We are forever grateful that the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation could help to sustain the reading culture of our pupils by sponsoring us with more e- readers and a new e-library.”
For more information about Worldreader, click here
Photographs of Suhum MA Experimental C School copyright Worldreader
Remote Indigenous children in Australia:
Literacy rates among Australia’s indigenous population are considerably lower than their non-indigenous peers (only 31% of remote indigenous children reach national minimum standards for reading) and access to reading materials can be an issue to children living in remote communities. The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation works in partnership with the Indigenous Reading Project (IRP) to provide e-readers and access to an e-library to children who need help and want to work at their literacy skills. IRP’s ground-breaking program is proven to improve literacy rates among this group.
Founded in 2012, IRP’s work and values are a perfect fit for the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation – both organisations are working to improve literacy rates using technology and both spend 100% of donations received on funding literacy resources and programs.
Here’s how the IRP program works:
The program focuses on children who are performing poorly but are motivated to improve. IRP test them and offer them a place in the program with the incentive of owning a tablet for improved reading ability.
IRP loan students a tablet and give them access to the IRP cloud library to browse through and borrow e-books that interest them.
After 12 weeks, IRP test students again. IRP also collect feedback from teachers, parents and the students themselves.
IRP reward effort and achievement. If the student’s test results show significant, measurable improvement and feedback is positive, IRP give the student the tablet to keep.
If the student’s test results are unchanged or lower from the baseline test and feedback is negative then the tablet is returned to IRP. IRP then offer the tablet to another student.
A select number of very successful students will be offered a place in the IRP Reading for Life (RFL) program. This will provide them with ongoing support and access to IRP reading resources through their school life.
The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation's first donation of AU$2,000 was used to double the size of the IRP e-library with the purchase of 170 new titles. We are now raising AU$2,000 to support ten children with e-readers and the IRP program.
According to Dan Billing, Director of IRP:
"This support could not have come at a better time for us. Last year we had a very high demand for our e-books with a 48% increase in borrowings. It was a big problem for our students as we’d already used up our budget! This meant that there were times when our kids couldn’t borrow the books that they wanted to read. We now have over 170 new titles in our collection. This will ease demand and give our students an immediate benefit. Thank you to everyone at the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation, this has made a real difference to these children and their literacy learning"
For more information about the Indigenous Reading Project, click here
Photographs copyright Indigenous Reading Project