International Literacy Day is celebrated annually around the world to promote the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.
For Madlyanne, today is just like any other school day. She wakes up at five o’clock, packs her bag and by six o’clock has left her house to arrive at school before classes begin. The first thing this seven-year-old does is read.
“While waiting for my teacher to start the lesson, I spend time reading books,” she said.
The reading books are colourful and written in simple language making it easier for children like Madlyanne to read. Most of the stories are about everyday life in Papua New Guinea so children can easily relate.
Madlyanne and over 2,000 other children from 50 elementary schools in Madang District are now able to access reading books and other learning materials thanks to the support of the Australian Government through the PNG-Australia Partnership.
Madlyanne dreams of becoming a pilot when she grows up, but for now her top book takes her deep into the ocean.
“I love reading and my favourite book is ‘Betty Likes Sea Animals’ because I learn about different sea animals,” she said.
International research suggests that children can more easily gain meaning from text when they create mental images because a visual display helps readers understand, organise and remember some of the one thousand words they need, to become fluent.
Madlyanne’s mother Martha said that since her daughter started reading, her interest in books has grown and she now reads a lot at home.
“My daughter can now read books and count numbers up to 100 – I am very pleased” she said proudly.
Madlyanne has her feet on the ground, but her imagination is ever-expanding in books – and that’s the best way to be.
Madang is one of three Districts in Madang Province benefiting from the Together for Education (T4E) project implemented by World Vision and its partners Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council, Child Fund, Library for All and the University of Canberra.
T4E is funded by the Australian Government in Partnership with the Government of PNG.
Feature Pic: Madlyanne reading while waiting for class to start – Credit: AHC Port Moresby