How We Can All Mark Indigenous Literacy Day 

This September 2nd. 

 The link between literacy and quality of life has long been acknowledged – literacy is reported to directly impact nutrition, income and even life expectancy.  

And for First Nations children, literacy in English is only one piece of the puzzle. There were once 250 Indigenous languages spoken across Australia. Today, only 13 Indigenous languages are still being acquired by children. One of these languages is Arrernte – spoken strongly and proudly by our First Nations families in Central Australia.  

So why is access to learning in first language not only incredibly important, but a basic human right?

“When taught first in their own languages, children learn better, are more self-confident and transfer their literacy and numeracy skills to additional languages. Children who start formal education in a second or foreign language are much more likely to experience frustration and failure, resulting in higher dropout rates for these children.” – UNESCO 2012 

 This September 2nd is Indigenous Literacy Day. Launched by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, it’s an occasion to celebrate the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ First Languages – a key tool in improving educational outcomes for First Nations children.

 Children’s Ground recognises the right of every child to grow up in a world that values their language, stories, culture and identity, today and every day.  

“Most children in the world go to school and learn in their own language. So why not our kids? Writing our own books in our languages is a small step in the long journey for autonomy and power over our lives.” – Lorrayne Gorey, Senior Arrernte Educator.  

To mark the occasion, why not dive into one of our First Language children’s books – written and illustrated by our First Nations educators in Central Australia? These emerging authors and artists are set to release four new books soon, incorporating 8 different languages spoken throughout their communities.

“For many of us who are privileged in this land, our children walk into a school where their language is being taught; where they feel comfortable, where the knowledge system is theirs. But we’ve denied that basic right to First Nations people for generations.” – Jane Vadiveloo, Children’s Ground CEO 

On Indigenous Literacy Day, Children’s Ground would like to acknowledge the extraordinary work of our First Nations Educators, keeping language and culture strong for their communities, families and children.

Help us create more literacy resources in First Language and in English by purchasing one of our children’s books or making a tax deductible donation today.