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Leading the way in literacy research

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


ECU researchers have been awarded almost $800,000 to evaluate the effectiveness of literacy programs in Western Australia.

Associate Professor Caroline Barratt-Pugh and Dr Lennie Barblett will work with the ECU Centre for Research in Early Childhood to evaluate four new programs that form part of the Better Beginnings Literacy Program.

Developed by the State Library of WA, Better Beginnings is a family literacy program that aims to support parents in their role as their child’s first teacher. Established in 2005, the program has delivered 70,000 reading packs and books to families across WA.

The four new literacy programs to be evaluated are:

  • Family Literacy Program in Kindergarten and Pre-primary schools;
  • Making Books, Making Readers with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families;
  • Reading Adventure: Family Literacy programme for 6 to 9 year Olds; and
  • READ! Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow Adult Literacy and Reading Initiative.

Each program is diverse in its focus, and target different learning groups, with programs based in remote, rural and metropolitan communities.

For Associate Professor Barratt Pugh, the funding builds on her successful relationship with Better Beginnings. She has been leading the evaluation of the program since its inception in 2005, evaluating the 0-3 year’s program.

The State Library has awarded Associate Professor Barratt-Pugh a further $100,000 to continue the longitudinal evaluation of this program, which has been extended to incorporate four and five year old children.

“We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue to evaluate such a successful literacy program as Better Beginnings,” Associate Professor Barratt-Pugh said.

“We hope that the evaluation will enhance the already successful program to create evidence-based research which will further inform the design, implementation and outcomes of Better Beginnings now and in the future.”

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