Early Childhood Education Journal
School of Education
State Library of Western Australia, through the Department of Culture and the Arts, Western Australia.
This article describes the needs analysis, implementation and outcomes of a pilot program aimed at creating books with families in ways that represent their language and culture. Creating Books in Communities is part of Better Beginnings, a state-wide program, developed by the State Library of Western Australia, for children and their families, that aims to develop literacy skills through fostering a love of books and language. Literature about the importance of recognising and valuing home languages and culture in supporting early literacy learning and the impact of family literacy programs is explored to provide a background to the program. The process of Creating Books in Communities is described in detail—it involves collaboration between librarians, early childhood partners, and community based artists working with families to produce a high-quality book. The impact of the program is explored through the voices of all the participants, revealing a number of positive family and community outcomes. We conclude the article by identifying six key factors related to the success of the program, which can be used as guidelines for implementation of the program both nationally and internationally.
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