Readings and HIPPY
The Brotherhood of St Laurence would like to thank Readings customers for their ongoing and wonderful commitment to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and their families. For several years, Readings customers have supported the Brotherhood’s Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) Fitzroy. Over the past year the two-year home-based parenting and early childhood enrichment program received a wonderful $7,295 in donations from Readings customers.
Of this donation, $158 was spent to furnish a special Readings corner at the HIPPY Fitzroy office, including a Winnie Sofa and chair and table where children can sit and read together. $2,753 was spent on books to celebrate and acknowledge the children’s work up to week 15 of the program and $4,384 funded the employment of a home tutor for six children and their families.
From all of the HIPPY Fitzroy families and children, thank you Readings customers for your support.
Other news from HIPPY Fitzroy
In October, children and parents from HIPPY went on a wonderful excursion and picnic to CERES Community Environmental Park in East Brunswick.
The children enjoyed playing with the farm animals, exploring the pond for tadpoles and frogs, painting and taking part in an Indian dance class, followed by a sausage sizzle and picnic on the day.
The next event the children are looking forward to is the 2008 HIPPY graduation to be held on 12 December. Nearly twenty eight children from HIPPY Fitzroy will make up the ‘Class of 2008’ and will be presented with a graduation cap and certificate. The children, and their proud parents, are looking forward to this event, which, every year is a special celebration with food, music and dancing to acknowledge the achievements of the latest HIPPY graduates.
HIPPY (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) is an early childhood development program run by The Brotherhood of St Laurence and supported by Readings. The program works with Vietnamese, Somali and English speaking families, who are financially and educationally disadvantaged. Its aim is to develop reading, numeracy and problem-solving skills so that children from these families can start school as well prepared as any other child.
Parents spend regular time each day with their child doing fun, educational activities. A home tutor, also a parent and in the same community, provides weekly activity packets for the parents to use. Not only do children thrive, but parents gain the confidence and skills necessary to be part of their child's education, development and overall wellbeing.
HIPPY tutors in the classroom with a young student.
For many years Readings has been a proud supporter of the Brotherhood of St Laurence's Literacy Program: HIPPY. In fact Readings and the Brotherhood were 2006 State Winners of the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships.
HIPPY is a unique literacy program working with disadvantaged families; initially developed in Israel the program not only works with the children but also their parents. Parents play an active role in the program which in turn helps strengthen their literacy skills and, especially for migrant and refugee families, helps them make connections with the outside community.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence undertook a lobbying campaign promoting HIPPY prior to the recent federal election, working along with people from communities around Australia who either have HIPPY sites running now and need help with funding, or who have been trying to start one up.
"Part of that campaign involved the Brotherhood letting both potential governments know that HIPPY has strong community and business partners such as Readings (a shining example for us of a local business teamed with a local program, ie. HIPPY Fitzroy)," said Susan Davies, National Manager of HIPPY Australia.
The campaign was successful in gaining a substantial commitment from the federal Labor Party, of $32.5m over five years, to roll the program into around fifty communities across the country. And with the election of the new federal government, the enactment of that pledge is now being negotiated. HIPPY Australia has helped the number of sites grow from five to nine in the last two years, but they are now looking at a very significant further expansion ahead.
Once negotiations are concluded, it is hoped the federal funding will help contribute further to HIPPY Fitzroy's growth and to a greater security of operation. But ongoing support from our community and business partners will remain a key aspect of the program over the long term.
HIPPY has also attracted some other wonderful supporters. The insurance company, AXA, and their CEO, Andy Penn, have been big supporters of HIPPY and have just renewed a three-year support program. The new Member for Bennelong, Maxine McKew, is a big supporter and recently dropped in to meet some of the Tutors and children.
Although the Federal Funding is great, it's not enough to meet demand on it's own. You can make a donation to HIPPY through any Readings shop
And for more information about HIPPY contact:
67 Brunswick St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
Tel: (03) 9483 1325
Mob: 0406 421 967
Email: [firstname.lastname@example.org](mailto:email@example.com) or visit [the HIPPY website](http://www.hippyaustralia.org.au).