An intergenerational home reading program and publication of four children’s books in three language

Thursday 20/02/20

In 2019 and with the support of the Government of Australia through an Australian Aid Friendship Grant, MHI sucessfully implemented an intergenerational, creative home reading project across the Lautem District.

The approach drew on evidence-based prevention messages and behaviour change theory to counter social norms that do not support healthy childhood development. Working with the local Ministry of Education, MHI identified some of the most disadvantaged schools across the district of Lautem and invited teachers, students and parents to develop their knowledge and skills to improve child literacy. The project involved the creation of four children’s books in three local languages. These books were illustrated by children from the region and each book included a key message that communities can adopt to support the healthy development and educational outcomes of their children.

100% of participants reported they had gained new skills to support home reading as a result of the project (91% strongly agree, 9% quite agree, 0% disagree) and 98% of participants also reported that their engagement and enjoyment with home reading had increased as a result of the workshop (92% strongly agree, 6% quite agree, 2% disagree).

Parent, Januario dias Marques 53, from the village of Mehara, reported:

"This is first time we have received training like this in our area and this is good for me. I will use the experience I have learned in this training to support my children, my family and to share with my neighbours”.

Parent, Lidia 37, also from Mehara expressed:

“I am very excited because I gained new experience to support reading with my children at home”. 

These short term outcomes are expected to contribute to increased literacy in the longer term. Further evaluation will be undertaken to understand the impact on literacy and to determine causal factors that might have contributed to any change.

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