Nowa Nowa Primary School is a small rural school with an enrolment of 27 students. It is situated about 20 kilometres east of Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland, where students come from the township, surrounding farms, Lakes Entrance and the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust. Around 60% of the students attending the school are Koorie. For the past two years the school has been keen to build the students literacy skills, especially in reading. They were committed to work with their families to encourage reading amongst their students both at school and at home. “we aim to encourage the love of literature and reading ” As a result, the school became part of the “Books in Homes” Program – a program that aims to develop students love of reading, creating a legacy of books in the home for students from schools in low socioeconomic areas. The core objective of the program is to reach students within these communities to:
- encourage and support reading and literacy in the home
- increase the involvement of parents/caregivers/community members in supporting students’ literacy development
- improve students’ literacy levels.
The Phyllis Connor Memorial Trust provided the school with resources to support students with the ability to select their own books each term – ones that they wanted to read.
Ken Jeans, Principal of Nowa Nowa P.S observes “This program has made a wonderful difference to our children. It has helped to increase their love of books and reading, while supporting a strong sense of responsibility and ownership to care for their own reading that involves their teachers, parents, grand parents and community members. It has also provided a great way for the school to build meaningful partnerships with parents and the community in supporting the students to enjoy reading and literature. This love of literacy has helped all of our students with their enthusiasm for learning and the program has resulted in an increased motivation for learning, especially in literacy. Our programs are designed to support and motivate their interest.”
As one grandmother reflected “they are comin up and they start reading their books to us – it is great” Earlier this year the school was featured in a short video to highlight the impact of the Books in Homes Program and with the language work that we have been doing in our little community. The video was one of three produced from different schools across the country; from Mt Isa, Newcastle and Nowa Nowa. People can view the article and video by clicking on Nowa Nowa Books in Home.