In celebration of NAIDOC week, Mr. Smith is donating all proceeds from our Limited Edition Balancing Pack to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. We spoke to Brad Gambetta from ILF to find out more about the foundation and how the donations will be used to support Indigenous literacy.
What is ILF?
ILF is a national charity that works with remote Indigenous communities across Australia. Their programs focus on ensuring access to quality resources, including books in first languages, publishing community stories and empowering families to lead their own literacy futures.
“We have three key programs: Book Supply (gifting carefully chosen, culturally relevant books with over 40% by Indigeous authors and illustrators); Book Buzz (aiming to build pre literacy skills and familiarity with books for babies and toddlers, where parents and carers are supported to share books in first languages and English); and Community Literacy Projects (producing and publishing stories written by Indigenous people for Indigenous people in the language(s) they choose).” Brad Gambetta, Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
What do they do?
Over the past 10 years, the ILF’s programs have grown substantially, and they have provided books and resources to over 400 remote communities across the country. The ILF also supports remote communities to write and publish their own books, in the languages they choose. These books are important because they represent Indigenous culture, community life and language. To date, the ILF has published 103 books that reflect 26 Indigenous languages, written by children, families and community Elders in remote communities across Australia. In 2021, they are publishing another 17 books, including their first collection of graphic novels.
“We cannot stress enough the importance of ILF in our community. The only reason we now have books in homes is because of ILF.” Tammy Hickey, Library Services Team Leader, Paroo Shire Council, Cunnamulla, Queensland (Obtained from the ILF website).
Who do they help?
Over the last ten years, the ILF has delivered more than 500,000 books across Australia to schools, libraries, health centres and play groups operating in remote and very remote areas. Children are always excited to receive books as some communities may not have access to public libraries or bookshops.
The ILF is highly valued in local communities as their programs “help children become familiar with English language, open up their imaginations, and provide families with high quality books to share with their children. Their books allow families to read in their own language and improve conversational skills.” Sarah Gold, Early Childhood Educator, Save the Children Australia (Obtained from the ILF website).
“We have seen firsthand, the benefits of increased positive experiences of early reading, including conversational reading, reading with family and looking at books independently. We know that reading opens doors and the books provided help give disadvantaged children the opportunity to do this and develop a love of literacy from the beginning.” Trish Whitaker, Family Educator Jabiru Family As First Teachers (Obtained from the ILF website).
How you can help
The ILF relies solely on donations. Money is an obvious way to support the foundation, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be via personal donations.
“Individuals or organisations can run fundraisers or participate in our Great Book Swap fundraising campaign. Following ILF on social media and sharing posts and stories of interest is also a great way to support us, as it helps increase our reach and put us in touch with a larger pool of potential donors. People can also purchase ILF published books from our online shop or gift cards.” Brad Gambetta, Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Mr. Smith Limited Edition ILF Pack
This year, Mr. Smith has developed a limited edition pack in collaboration with Indigenous artist Brad Turner, where all proceeds will be donated to ILF. Purchasing one of these packs will directly impact the lives of children and their families in remote Indigenous communities.
“These proceeds will be used to fund our three programs – Book Supply, Book Buzz and Community Literacy Projects. Depending on what the communities identify their needs as being, the proceeds raised from the Mr. Smith packs could be used to buy books, help translate books into first languages, purchase resources to build Book Buzz resource kits…the list goes on!” Brad Gambetta, Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
To read more on the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and how you can help, visit their website HERE.
Style. Substance. Simplicity.