With the support of the Aesop Foundation, Ardoch is scaling our Writer in Residence program into five disadvantaged schools in Melbourne this year. The first school partner to benefit from this program was St Brendan’s School in Flemington.
Many students experience high levels of disadvantage with a range of language and literacy challenges. They can also face social exclusion arising from inter-generational poverty, trauma, family breakdown, instability and a lack of positive adult role models. This program is important for these children as it aims to enhance students’ literacy and language skills, build confidence in their own voices and enhance their aspirations for creativity, storytelling and writing.
The program ran for seven weeks as author Fiona Wood worked with the students to help them identify story ideas, build characters, write their stories, edit them, create illustrations and put together a collation of student works. The result was an amazing anthology from the Grade 4 students: A Forest Full of Stories.
On the 17th of July, the students celebrated their beautiful work with the author, teachers, parents and the rest of the school community at the Book Celebration Launch. The students jumped in excitement as they received their own copy of the anthology and participated in a story-telling activity to conclude the event. It was a wonderful literary learning experience for the students of St Brendan’s School Flemington!
Ardoch looks forward to working with our partner schools, authors and designer to successfully deliver the Writer in Residence programs in Dandenong, Frankston, Geelong and Melbourne’s western suburbs in the coming months.
St Brendan’s Primary School – quotes from the students:
“I feel really happy because that was my first time writing something and putting it in a book and I also really like it and my writing is much more better – all because Fiona helped me a lot.”
“I felt really happy that I have made a book that has been finished and completed by me and my friends. It was really exciting when we wrote our own books.”
“I felt so proud because we worked so hard to complete the book! I felt accomplished because I can show my parents all my hard work.”
“Use your imagination. Your story will not be great at first try. It will improve every time you edit! All your hard work will pay off.”
“Don’t give up and keep on trying. Put all your efforts in it and don’t be shy to show everyone your story. If you have an idea, don’t be shy to tell anyone.”