HIPPY Gets Going in Broken Hill
Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation is celebrating early literacy with the start of a national program which will help local Aboriginal families with children who are ready to start school next year.
Maari Ma was successful this year in tendering for the Home Intervention Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) in Broken Hill and has now recruited two tutors to work with families.
The timing coincides with National HIPPY Week this week, which recognises parents and carers as their child’s first teachers.
Maari Ma Chief Executive Officer, Bob Davis, said tutors Latesha Adams and Kerrie Williams have been recruited from a group of families Maari Ma has been working with for the past several months.
“ I welcome Latesha and Kerrie to this very important program and to Maari Ma.
“HIPPY is all about working with a child’s first teacher, their parent, to help that child develop the skills needed to make sure they get a good start at school.
“Giving our kids a good start at school is important to ensure positive outcomes for them later in life.
“We know from regional data that Aboriginal children do not start kindergarten with the same level of literacy as their non-Aboriginal counterparts.
“HIPPY and Maari Ma’s other early literacy programs are working to improve these statistics” he said.
Mr Davis said the 2012/13 Child Health Survey indicates that 69% of all children in the far west are read to every day which is significantly lower than the rate for all 0-5 year olds in New South Wales.
“Studies show that literacy has been strongly linked to a person’s health outcomes and Maari Ma has been working to incorporate literacy into its early childhood programs for some time.
“Programs such as Little Kids and Books have been helping children access quality children’s books for parents and carers to read to their children. We are very pleased to be supporting our existing work with HIPPY.
“Research shows that the early years are important for the foundations of literacy. We know that reading to children contributes to their early development of vocabulary and listening comprehension.
“We need to encourage and support families to do this every day with their kids” he said.
Maari Ma’s HIPPY tutors will be working with up to 25 Aboriginal families across Broken Hill to support their 4 and 5 year olds to be ready for school with literacy, numeracy and writing skills.
During National HIPPY Week this week Latesha and Kerrie will be celebrating the new program with local families.
DATE: 16 September 2014
Available for interview
Director Corporate Services, Cathy Dyer