Specialised kits set to boost children’s literacy

16 February 2023

Ipswich playgroups will soon have access to specially equipped Story in a Box literacy kits to support braille and Auslan learning.

The First 5 Forever Story in a Box borrowable kits contain books in the Stories for Little Queenslanders series, puppets, props and other resources to support early literacy development, with a special focus on braille and Auslan materials.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said he was excited with the focus on assisting children and their families who might find traditional literacy more challenging.

“These kits have books that will include braille translation, Auslan flashcards and books, and a range of other materials that will support group learning and families exploring literacy and language together at home,” Cr Fechner said.

“The project is an innovative approach to extending key early literacy messages and experiences, enabling playgroups without funding to access valuable and inclusive learning resources.

“Additionally, the stories in the kits explore themes such as First Nations, diversity, braille, Auslan and acceptance.”

First 5 Forever is a state-wide early literacy program delivered by public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres (IKCs) with the primary aim of providing strong early literacy foundations for all Queensland children aged zero to five years old.

Each kit is themed and will be available for loan to playgroups after a storytelling visit from Ipswich Libraries’ First 5 Forever team.

Ipswich Libraries was one of six libraries to be awarded a grant in the First 5 Forever Innovation Grant 2022-2023 program.

First 5 Forever is an initiative of the Queensland Government, coordinated by State Library of Queensland and delivered in partnership with Ipswich City Council.

In 2021-2022, Ipswich Libraries’ First 5 Forever team delivered 60 Story Time sessions at local playgroups.

The Story in a Box literacy kits will be available from May 2023.