Friday, February 27, 2009
Project Moving Forward
We are moving ahead with the literacy project most of you are aware of. We have a powerful opportunity with Cheri Forbes, Sport and Recreation Director for the Central Desert Shire. She has helped us set up a pilot in Ti Tree (an outbush community) that is a ground up approach, using some of her staff, existing facilities, and volunteers .We spent three days there, (building in lower right hand corner) met with the Shire Council and CEO, and trained some staff (remaining pictures). Once successful, she wants to bring in other agencies, schools, funding bodies, and eventually offer the model to other shires throughout the NT. She has made contact with a funding body that has expressed willingness to fund reproduction of our materials, staff, facilities, training, etc. for other Central Desert Shire communities when we are ready to move ahead on a larger scale. They are planning to build family learning centers in many communities and think our materials would be a great addition to these centers. Cherie’s husband is also very supportive. He is working for a large funding body for Aboriginal affairs. They will prove to be wonderful champions for the project
Ann Roberts, former principal of Alcoota, is now working with 70 out bush schools. She is very supportive as a volunteer for voicing the Power Points and is eager to promote the project to the areas where she has influence.
We feel that we have produced materials that could be of lasting benefit to the Aboriginal community and possibly many others. With help from Sisters Lovegrove and Woods, we have completed writing and voicing Alphabet, Phonics 1, Early Reading, and English Conversation DVDs. We are just completing the voicing on Phonics 2 and still need to voice Basic English am about half way through with writing the phonetic explicit teaching approach to Ye Shall Have My Words. It also will need to be voiced. We have written and produced a comprehensive tutor training DVD with a tutor packet that includes assessment, tracking, instruction guides and teaching aids, as well as an introduction to the program DVD. Our literacy bags are being used by the missionaries out bush and we are planning to introduce them to the Ti Tree pilot project.
We are working out the kinks, and feel we will have a professional, user-friendly product when finished. At that point we hope to be able to mass produce them and make them widely available to participants in the project. There is a new senior couple here, the Bogadahls, who will be able to help carry on with the project when we are gone, though they will not be involved in the production. Please keep us in your prayers there is a lot to get done in the nine weeks we have left.