Literacy Buddies®

literacybuddies

Literacy Buddies® is Ardoch’s highly successful letter writing program that gives businesses and workplaces an opportunity to engage with children in disadvantaged communities and help improve their learning outcomes.

The program matches a class of approximately 25 students (called ‘Little Buddies’) from one of our partner schools with volunteers (called ‘Big Buddies’) from a business or a workplace. The Buddies exchange monthly letters and meet twice a year, once at the school and once at the workplace.

The program is designed to give the children a real life context to practice their writing and composition skills. The exchange is also aimed at building the aspirations of the children by bringing them in contact with successful working role models, which they may lack in their immediate surroundings.

Literacy Buddies® promotes:

  • literacy, social and life skills of the children
  • strong relationships between Big and Little Buddies
  • school-study-work pathways and aspirations of the participating children
  • team building and community awareness among volunteers
  • connections between schools and local communities and businesses

In 2016, 942 pairs of buddies exchanged over 14,324 letters with each other across Australia. The program, together with our Numeracy Buddies program was recognised with the Innovation Award at the Volunteering Victoria State Awards 2016.

The program is not offered to individual volunteers. We build partnerships with workplaces, which participate in the program.

Where we work

For a list of all our current partner schools and early years services, go here.

“I asked the children to reflect on a time this term that they did their 'best learning.' One of the kids said it was writing their big buddy letter.”

- Teacher, St Brendan’s School Flemington.

“In my first year, my Little Buddy was a young lady with an infectious personality who was initially reserved in her writing. However, by the end of the program she was confidently using expressive language. Moreover, the neatness of her much improved handwriting put mine to shame!”
- Lisa Granger, Big Buddy, Latitude Financial Services.

Get Involved

If you are a workplace interested in participating in the program, write to our Corporate Relations Executive Malya Bahaduri at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her on 03 7001 3613.

If you are a school interested in participating in the program, contact our Program Coordinator Nicole Armstrong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her on 03 7001 3607.

For more information on our Literacy Support programs, visit here.