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A young First Nations boy smiles at the camera.

Mercy Community celebrates the great gift of reading and storytelling this Indigenous Literacy Day

For Indigenous Literacy Day (6 September) Mercy Community would like to share some of the strengths, achievements and truly positive work being done in the background with the First Nations young people our team’s support.

The background

When Leo* moved into the care of Mercy Community several years ago, he had multiple disabilities, contributing to his difficulties with speaking, learning, and sitting for long periods of time. Educationally, he was already behind his peers, was disengaged from school and struggled to fit into a traditional classroom environment.

How did Mercy Community help/support?

Mercy Community care team were able to support Leo in managing his emotions which increased his ability to learn. The residential care team arranged for Leo to access additional one-on-one weekly hour-long tutoring sessions. The First Nations young person has been supported to attend these sessions for the past three years.

The outcome

Whilst currently excluded, Leo was able to reengage in education at school with support of the carers. Leo has significantly increased in his academic abilities and engages well in his tutoring sessions. Pleasingly, he has made significant progress with his literacy and numeracy skills, gaining in confidence, and at times showing great enthusiasm and persistence, especially when he has experienced some success.

His tutor reports: “Leo has improved amazingly so in his reading. He has in the past only been able to read cat, dog; however, in this session today he read a range of sight and sound words by himself. He is usually not confident enough to try reading unfamiliar words. Leo has improved in his confidence and engagement. He has also improved in maths skills solving single digit subtraction and addition word problems with ease.”

Moving forward, Leo’s tutor will be working on improving his reading comprehension skills, telling the time (a skill which he has already shown excitement and confidence with), subtraction and improving his overall reading level.

Mercy Community is excited about Leo’s literacy gains and knows that with early identification of individual needs and linking up with the right supports at the right time, a real difference can be made.

Mercy Community provides support and care for children, young people, and families who are experiencing hardship. Residential care is one of our program types which can change the lives of young people in a positive, supportive way.

Find out more about our Families & Young People services here.

Find out more about Indigenous Literacy Day here.

*All names in this case study have been changed to protect the privacy of the people we serve.

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