The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) was founded in 1999 by speech-language pathologist, Mary-Ruth Mendel and businesswoman Kim Kelly, to help people in Australia’s most marginalised communities to gain literacy skills.
ALNF has identified a critical gap in service delivery for children and families to meet vital early learning needs, particularly for vulnerable children, many of whom experience language and literacy delays as a result of socio-economic disadvantage.
The lack of access to and participation in quality early childhood education results in a significant ‘school readiness gap’ and research shows that this gap continues to widen if developmental vulnerabilities are not addressed in the before-school years, and supported during the transition into school.
The Bryan Foundation’s executive chair, Jill Simes said vulnerable young children demonstrate specific needs in areas of language and literacy development and require targeted support in fostering vital pre-literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, oral language development, vocabulary knowledge, emergent writing, print awareness and early comprehension skills.
"It was ALNF’s innovative ‘Early Language & Literacy program’ (EL&L) that struck a chord with the Foundation and its particular relevance to our recently established partnership with Logan Together, targeting early childhood years,” Jill said.
“ALNF’s EL&L program adopts an approach that incorporates a unique strategy of combined speech pathology and early childhood education that focuses on strengthening foundational language, communication and early literacy skills.
“EL&L’s coordinated, whole-of-community approach is consistent with objectives being set in the Logan area and particularly those being set through the ‘Early Years Neighbourhood Networks’ initiative coordinated by Logan Together, in partnership with the Queensland Department of Education and Training, which is also supported by The Bryan Foundation,” Jill added.
“The program seeks to work collaboratively across community, in prior-to-school and school settings, to implement an initiative that is designed to enhance the pre-literacy skill development of children in a developmentally appropriate time frame. Through this additional instruction, children will be better equipped to take advantage of literacy instruction in school.
“The principal aim for the Early Language & Literacy program is to close the gap so all children are ready to commence school and are ready to learn, regardless of socio-economic status…and it is this philosophy that mirrors that of the Foundation’s,” Jill concluded.
The Bryan Foundation’s principal focus of supporting and empowering vulnerable young Queenslanders to change their lives through education is proud to announce a new partnership with Logan Together.
Logan Together is a ten-year childhood development, inter-generational and anti-poverty movement supported by all levels of government, NGOs, human services sectors, businesses and the Logan community, targeting childhood development from birth to age eight.
Established in 2015, Logan Together’s roadmap engages a life-course approach with goals set at each stage from pregnancy through to the newborn and toddler years, and then on to kindergarten and school.
The Bryan Foundation’s executive chair Jill Simes believes Logan Together’s roadmap, which addresses the fundamentals of early childhood support and learning, resonates strongly with the Foundation.
“Logan Together harnesses the power of collective impact to coordinate action across every age and stage of childhood and we believe these are the fundamental building blocks to children having the best start towards a fulfilling life.
“Logan Together’s vision is that by 2025, children in Logan will be as healthy and full of potential as any other group of Queensland children and The Byran Foundation shares that vision.
“We are proud to support the work being carried out by the dynamic backbone team at Logan Together and its many supporting organisations and community groups,” Jill said.
In Logan Together’s words: ‘If we can help an extra 5,000 kids blossom in their early years we’ll have achieved our goals…the difference we make now for our kids will have a big impact on the future.’
The Bryan Foundation (TBF) is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Schools Plus Fair Education program to bring the initiative into Queensland schools in collaboration with funding partner, Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.
Fair Education was first introduced to NSW in 2016 through a partnership between Schools Plus and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation – following 12-months’ research and consultation with leading education industry experts.
The Bryan Foundation’s executive chair, Jill Simes said the Schools Plus Fair Education Queensland program aligns with TBF’s vision and principal focus of supporting and empowering vulnerable young Queenslanders to change their lives through meaningful education.
“The Fair Education program aims to create systemic change in the Queensland education system and improve the outcomes for some of the state’s most marginalised students.
“The program is specifically designed to develop the capacity of school leaders in disadvantaged schools to design and deliver evidence based initiatives that effectively engage families and communities in student learning.
“There is significant international research that shows students do better at school when their families are actively engaged in their learning and within the schools’ community” – Jill Simes, executive chair
The program aims to build the capacity of the school leadership teams to design and implement activities to strengthen family and community involvement, with grants accompanied by expert coaching to support schools in designing and rolling out their projects.
Jill went on to say, “It is not the school projects themselves that are important, but rather the implementation of the projects to develop the capacity of the school leadership team, by embedding increased engagement of teachers, students, parents and the community and leading to improved student learning outcomes.
“The Bryan Foundation is proud to partner with Schools Plus and Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, to bring the Schools Plus Fair Education program to Queensland and we are looking forward to this dynamic collaboration that will allow both parties to leverage and maximise the impact and output of our joint funding support.”
The Bryan Foundation has established a new PhD Scholarship in the Earth Sciences, available to a successful candidate hosted at one of three tertiary institutions in Queensland, being The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and James Cook University.