It’s great to tell you about a project I’m passionate about. My background is in publishing and technology, so to build an app that combines these two areas in such a practical way is a great opportunity to make a meaningful difference.
I am talking about ILF Books, a project where Chatty Kidz and The Indigenous Literary Foundation have teamed up to launch a simple, yet powerful app for reading with children.
The first book featured on the app is a compelling story, Bangs 2 Jurrukuk, written by senior girls from Tiwi Island and is a captivating tale which shares traditional Tiwi culture and values of love, courage and ‘One People’.
You can download it from Apple via this link https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/ilf-books/id844832111?mt=8 or search for “ILF BOOKS” in the Apple store.
Those who download the app will see that it has a number of strong educational advantages for children. These include helping to develop early reading skills plus exposure to print and reading behaviors, as well as building children’s confidence to read aloud and developing important oral language skills.
The app also offers a very real way for communities and families to connect. For instance younger siblings will be able to bond with their older brother or sister through shared story time or perhaps a grandparent living far away will read to their grandchild.
Karen Williams from the Indigenous Literary Foundation says the initiative brings them one step closer to their goal.
“We believe that Australia’s Indigenous children and families living in remote communities across Australia should have access to the same opportunities as other citizens.
Yet the big barrier is not only distance but literacy levels. Providing access to quality books at the same time as sharing stories and creating a pleasurable reading experience is essential. This app is a fun way to not only connect isolated communities through reading, but also to enjoy the experience of combining books with technology. This should appeal to young children in particular.”
The App is free, available nationally from the Apple App Store and I hope you will see it as a fun, enjoyable way for children and adults of all ages to engage in and share the joy of reading, no matter where they are located.
How it works
Two people using the App to connect through video, a story is then shared and comes to life as pages are turned in real-time by both readers. Words, colours and pictures are all sensitive to touch and highlighted when activated. This widens the scope and educational opportunities for readers to interact and learn.
A bit about Chatty Kidz
Started in 2013 by Ken Taggart, it was born out of the need to create a meaningful connection with his family spread throughout the world, The result is an app that effectively turns iPad time into family time by giving a platform for families and communities to stay connected through content, education and video. In February 2014, Chatty Kidz was selected to be part of the Telstra incubator Muru-D. http://www.chattykidz.com
A bit about Indigenous Literary Foundation
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) was founded by Suzy Wilson and set up by members of the Australian Book Industry in 2005 with the core aim of drawing upon the skills and expertise of the Australian book industry to address literacy levels in remote Indigenous communities. From 2006-2010 the project worked in partnership with The Fred Hollows Foundation who delivered the programs and administered funds.
The ILF aims to raise literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous children living in remote and isolated regions. This is done by through the delivery of books and literacy resources, publishing and visits out to remote communities. In addition, the Foundation advocates to raise community awareness of Indigenous literacy issues. http://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au