The Readings Foundation grant recipients for 2017

The Readings Foundation has announced $128,349 worth of grants to support a range of projects and organisations within Victoria in 2017.

In 2017, The Readings Foundation grant funding will focus strongly on organisations that are delivering literacy and education support to the most disadvantaged people in our community, from as near as Carlton, to as far away as Ballarat.

The Readings Foundation received 67 applications this year, and is pleased to award grants to the following 10 organisations:

African Communities Foundation Australia ($15,000)

African Communities Foundation Australia will run a weekly Seniors Homework Club in the Collingwood and Carlton areas, supporting African young people in Years Seven to Ten. The Seniors Homework Club will help with the transition from primary to secondary school, foster increased literacy and numeracy skills, attend to special needs and specialised tuition, develop friendship circles for isolated youth and help improve social and life skills among participants.

Banksia Gardens Community Services ($10,000)

The Aiming High VCE Support Program will help students from disadvantaged backgrounds with a commitment to their studies overcome barriers to achieve their best in VCE. Banksia Gardens Community Centre staff and volunteer tutors will conduct weekly after-school study sessions at two locations in Broadmeadows and Craigieburn. The program will feature specialist workshops, academic and study skills training, industry-based guest speakers and excursions activities throughout the academic year.

Berry Street Victoria ($17,900)

Berry Street Victoria will implement a new Readers and Writers program and purchase a literacy library for vulnerable young people aged 12 to 18, at their new school campus in Ballarat. Each new student will be engaged in a unique reading education program designed to help get them back on track with their learning and overcome the detrimental effects of violence and abuse.

Brotherhood of St Laurence ($11,500)

Brotherhood of St Laurence will purchase three children’s books for every child who participates in their Fitzroy and North Melbourne HIPPY programs. The books will be selected to reflect a specific theme and will form the basis of family discussion and activities each term throughout the ensuing year. The families who are involved in the HIPPY programs are disadvantaged – with many being migrants, refugees and asylum seekers – and are keen to assist their young children to develop literacy skills.

Church of All Nations ($20,000)

The Carlton Family Learning Program has pioneered an approach to low levels of literacy on the Carlton Housing Estates among children and their families. The homework and education support program functions three nights a week during school term with close to 100 students, offers holiday activities and situational literacy programs for parents, and utilises 79 voluntary tutors. The program is part of the Church Of All Nations ethos of working towards social justice and inclusion for the whole Carlton community.

Maldon Athenaeum Library ($8,000)

Tarrengower Chapters is a book club for women who are incarcerated at Tarrengower Women’s Prison in Maldon. The project creates a safe community of women and helps them to become articulate, make connections, voice opinions and ideas and gain emotional sustenance. The long-running book club offers a context for discussing the life issues that arise in texts without fear, harm, discrimination or disadvantage. Tarrengower Chapters is a respectful, transformative space where women can enhance their academic, social and emotional development.

Odyssey House ($10,000)

Kids in Focus is a specialist child and family support program that provides a range of intensive services to families affected by parental alcohol and other drug problems. The program will help children to access social, educational and extracurricular opportunities and resources that they would otherwise miss out on.

Preston Reservoir Adult Community Education ($20,000)

Preston Reservoir Adult Community Education will continue to provide an English language class for asylum seekers living in the local area, along with general support as they settle into the local community. Weekly classes run for three hours a week, and are taught by a qualified English language teacher who has experience working with people who have undergone trauma.

River Nile Learning Centre ($7,949)

River Nile Learning Centre will expand their English Language Program to meet the growing demand of newly-arrived refugee and asylum seeker women. They provide child care, social support, assistance with transport costs and individual learning programs free of cost.

The Smith Family ($8,000)

Let’s Read is a national early years literacy program run by the Smith Family that promotes reading to children aged zero to five years in disadvantaged communities. Let’s Read’s vision is for all Australian children to share books, stories, songs and nursery rhymes every day from birth with the important people in their lives. The evidence-based program develops the ability of early years educators, parents/carers to share words, stories and books with young children, providing the tools for families and communities to establish the building blocks for literacy and a love of books.

The Wheeler Centre

In addition to the 10 organisations listed above, The Readings Foundation will continue to support The Wheeler Centre’s Hot Desk Fellowships for the sixth year in a row. This program creates opportunities for 20 talented writers by enabling them to pursue their writing at a dedicated desk at the Wheeler Centre for 10 weeks, supported by a $1,000 stipend for each writer. Over the years, many Hot Desk alumni have published works that have ended up on the Readings shelves.

Established by Readings’ managing director Mark Rubbo in 2009, The Readings Foundation assists Victorian organisations that support the development of literacy, community integration and the arts.

Readings donates 10% of its overall profit to The Readings Foundation each year, and the kind donations from Readings’ customers make a crucial contribution.

Find out more about The Readings Foundation here.