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First NZ family literacy programme launched

1 July 2003 Media Statement

First NZ family literacy programme launched

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today officially launched the Manukau Family Literacy Pilots, the first literacy programme in New Zealand to cater for both adults and children.

“The Manukau Pilots in South Auckland are the first family literacy programmes in New Zealand where pre schoolers, school-aged children and adults are learning together in full time programmes,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Boosting literacy skills is an important goal for this Government. Too many New Zealanders lack the essential literacy skills to succeed in modern life.

“That’s why the Government has increased funding for adult literacy programmes by $18 million over Budgets 2001 and 2002 to $45.6 million over four years. Spending on literacy for school-aged children also rose $15 million in the May budget, to $25 million over four years.”

The family literacy programmes are being run at Bairds Mainfreight Primary School, in conjunction with the Manukau Institute of Technology, and at Rowandale Primary School, in conjunction with the Auckland University of Technology.

They are being funded through a partnership between the Ministries of Education and Social Development and the City of Manukau Education Trust, with taxpayer funds contributing $365,000.

“The four components of family literacy - adult education, children’s education, parenting education and parent/child time together – have never previously been delivered together in New Zealand,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Two terms on, all the adults involved in the Bairds Mainfreight Primary School pilot have graduated and several have gone on to enrol in full-time education at Manukau Institute of Technology. The Rowandale Primary School Pilot has only recently got underway.

“Teachers talk about how positive it has been to have parents come into the classroom on an almost daily basis and how the children have benefited from these experiences.

“The University of Auckland is evaluating the Manukau pilots and it may be that these programmes will be extended to other areas, depending on the results of that evaluation, ” Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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