The main aim of the Bridging the Gap project was to encourage Indigenous families to use a home book-reading program to minimise the disadvantage often experienced by their children when learning to read. The project was implemented in Western Sydney by Aboriginal Education Assistants (AEAs) from the Indigenous Catholic Education Unit within the Catholic Schools Office, Parramatta Diocese, NSW, with 22 children and their families in Terms 2 and 3 of the school year. The program used shared-book reading to help the children become actively involved in the reading process. At post-test, the children's mean reading age was higher than their mean chronological age, and there were increases in listening comprehension, phonemic awareness and receptive language. The project had a positive impact on the children's self-esteem, interest in books, experiences with books at home, and home-school links. The project also had a positive impact on the role of the AEAs within the Indigenous Education Unit and their support of the literacy needs of Indigenous children in the first year at school.
|Number of pages
|Australian Journal of Early Childhood
|Published - Dec 2008