CEO SPRING MESSAGE 

The release of this year’s NAPLAN results highlights again the importance of strong foundational literacy and numeracy skills. During August many schools and early years services participated in important national awareness weeks for children’s education: National Science Week (10-18 August) and Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week (17-23 August). Both events provide an anchor for educators around the country to engage children of all ages in the importance of science and literacy to not only their future job pathways, but lifelong learning as well.

At Ardoch, we know the importance of supporting children’s learning, and engaging them in these key foundational areas as early as possible and we see this firsthand in our own families. My young nieces, aged four and six, could not wait to tell me about dressing up as a ‘vet scientist’ and ‘The Thing’ for their own kindergarten and year one classes’ celebrations of science and literacy.

This year, Ardoch’s early years programs focus on both of these areas. Engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is fostered in kindergarten children through our Curious Young Minds program run by our early years’ volunteers and our STEM School Readiness Program. Launching with the support of UPS Foundation, our STEM School Readiness Program offers new STEM-based books to kindergarten students coupled with a STEM-based incursion and parent engagement activity. Alongside these, we will continue to build the early foundations of literacy through the expansion of our Early Language and Literacy Program. With the support of the William Buckland Foundation more early years centres have access to our trained and supported volunteers.

As always, we could not achieve what we do without the generous support of our philanthropic and corporate partners, individual donors and volunteers. The sum of your achievements is reflected in our 2018 Annual Report. I encourage you to read it and share it with your friends, family and colleagues so that they too can be proud of, and inspired by, your contribution. On behalf of Ardoch and the children who participate in our programs, thank you again for your generosity.

Kylee Bates
Chief Executive Officer