Library program made of write stuff

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Library program made of write stuff

Kingston District Council has won the Jim Crawford Award for Innovation in Libraries, celebrating innovative and inspiring services being delivered through South Australia’s public libraries.

Announced at last month’s 2024 LGA OGM and Conference, the council’s Literacy Without Barriers Program, which is run through the Kingston Community School Library, beat a field of 12 other high-quality initiatives submitted by local governments across the state.

The program was developed to tackle declining early literacy levels and a lack of engagement with pre-school programs within the Kingston community, which was made worse by the pandemic.

As the winner of this year’s Jim Crawford Award, Kingston District Council will receive $10,000 toward further enhancing their library services, working with their local school in delivery of the school community library.

LGA President Mayor Dean Johnson congratulated the council on its success and ingenuity in creating the program to address a crucial need within its community.

“We know libraries are essential to South Australian communities – they have evolved far beyond being a place for borrowing books and today play a key role in fostering learning, providing access to technology, and offering diverse programs for people of all ages,” Mayor Johnson said.

“School community libraries, which are unique to South Australia, allow communities in regional areas to have equality of access to library resources.

“Early learning was significantly disrupted during the pandemic and Kingston District Council recognised this impact, acting swiftly to address it.

“Now, through this innovative program, more children aged 5 and under in the Kingston area have access to a range of helpful learning materials to continue developing and help prepare them for entering the school system.

The Literacy Without Barriers Program involved the creation of book packs – containing stories, activities and guides for parents and carers to read with their pre-school aged children – and encourages vocabulary development and connecting text with the real world.

The judging panel commented the project had the potential to be replicated across the SA libraries network, benefitting communities right across the state.

Kingston District Mayor Jeff Pope said the Literacy Without Barriers Program had been incredibly well received since it started and that being Award was a huge honour.

“Early learning is so important not just for children and families in Kingston, but across the wider state and the fact this program has been so well supported demonstrates this,” Mayor Pope said.

The community school library team have done a great job with this and other programs to make a difference to our young people and it’s an endorsement they can feel proud of.

The Literacy Without Barriers Program was supported through a Local Government Early Childhood Community Innovation Grant, which was funded by the Office for the Early Years within the Department for Education and administered by the LGA for programs which support development in early childhood.

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