On Wednesday 2 September, children across Australia are invited to move, shake, sing, and share a book reading of Yu sabi densdensbad? (Can you Dance?) in Kriol by Cheryl Lardy and in English by Play School’s Justine Clarke.
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) invites primary schools and early education centres to join a special Indigenous Literacy Day online event designed for children 3-11 years of age.
ILF ambassador Jessica Mauboy will sing The Barramundi Song in two Indigenous languages – Tiwi and Mangarrayi, as well as English. Hosted by Indigenous author and performer Gregg Dreise and NITV presenter Natalie Ahmat, this event gives younger audiences a celebratory experience of Indigenous language and literacy. There is even a sneaky, cheeky visit planned by children’s author Andy Griffiths.
Pre-COVID-19, this annual event was held at the Sydney Opera House with kids from remote communities, as well as kids from local Sydney schools.
Karen Williams, Executive Director of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation says, “We have re-imagined how we celebrate and it is with absolute delight that we are collaborating with the Digital Creative Learning team at Sydney Opera House to stream this across Australia – so all children – no matter where they live – can join in.”
The Foundation’s Indigenous Literacy Day for primary and early learners is an opportunity to share and enlighten children about Indigenous song, languages, and stories.
“Our research shows that children learn best in their own language,” says Williams. “Our Indigenous Literacy Day celebration reflects the richness and vibrancy of language with kids from two different communities singing a well-loved melody in their first language. For other children across Australia, this is likely the first time they have heard a song in languages of our First Nations people.”
The ILF is a charity of the book industry and focuses on three programs for remote children and their families: Book Buzz supports early literacy; Book Supply provides culturally relevant books and books in language; and Community Literacy Projects engages communities to write and illustrate their own books in the languages they choose. Donations to the Foundation fund these programs and provide books to communities that need them most.
The Foundation is encouraging schools and education centres to encourage children to donate a gold coin on the day of viewing. Every $10 puts a book into the hands of a child in remote Australia. Donations can be made online at ild.org.au
The virtual event will launch on the Sydney Opera House YouTube channel at 2pm on Wednesday 2 September.
To book, head to the Sydney Opera House website where teacher resources will also be available.