Little Buddies Literacy Program
In 2017, approximately 30 Melton City Council staff embarked on a new journey into the wonderful world of being “Big Buddies” to a group of delightful primary school students from Arnolds Creek Primary School. The opportunity to be part of such a great program was very rewarding for everyone involved.
Ardoch’s Literacy Buddies® is an in-school program in which a class of student “Little Buddies” and their corporate volunteer “Big Buddies” exchange monthly letters. The program aims to encourage students to read and write, and provide them with meaningful interactions with positive working adult role models.
The program is designed to give the children a real life context to practice their writing and composition skills. The exchange is also aimed at building the aspirations of the children by bringing them in contact with successful working role models, which they may lack in their immediate surroundings.
The Literacy Buddies program at Melton City Council was very successful, with numerous letters exchanged and two exciting visits and gave staff an opportunity to engage with children in disadvantaged communities and help improve their learning outcomes.
A recent research report on the program, highlights the positive social and developmental impacts for the students, teachers, schools, businesses and volunteers who participate. The report found that as well as improving the confidence and self-esteem of the student “Little Buddies”, the program may help improve students’ emotional wellbeing as a result of the friendship and support they gain through their interaction with their adult “Big Buddies”.
Council staff who participated as volunteers in the Literacy Buddies® felt the experience benefited them both personally and professionally.
Literacy Buddies® promotes:
- literacy, social and life skills of the children
- strong relationships between Big and Little Buddies
- school-study-work pathways and aspirations of the participating children
- team building and community awareness among volunteers
- connections between schools and local communities and businesses
Literacy Buddies® enables a Big Buddy to connect with their community and make a positive difference to children and young people in their community in a manageable and meaningful way.
Melton City Council is proud to be a part of this fantastic and empowering program again in 2018.