Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    Literacy Matters

    Article by Mrs Jane Alexander

    Literacy Matters – ‘My book doesn’t have a charger’

    Can you remember back to when your child first read to you?  Does it nearly bring tears to your eyes, at the miracle of it all? Whether it was a phonetics approach or whole word or a combo of both, it is an incredible and empowering feat for any child. You would have seen the immense pride evident as they developed skills for decoding language. You may have shared the joy as they found the funny reader, and they couldn’t read the next lines because they were laughing too much, (this humour probably revolved around an accident or a fart!)

    Well why stop your engagement with reading there?  The event held in the ILC on May 30th titled ‘My book doesn’t have a charger’ involved the local community including authors, parents, students and staff who all gathered to chat about reading and books.   

    Sue Lawson, Michael Panckridge and Mark Smith engaged the audience in a panel discussion about the joys of reading and the incredible process of writing short stories and novels. It was fascinating to hear how each author became motivated to create fiction for the young adult audience.

    There were broad ranging discussions about the sources of inspiration for writing, the long process of drafting and editing and the absolute joy of being able to publish texts that resonate with young readers. All of the authors admitted that great writing was all about having an idea that is interesting and draws the reader in. They strongly conveyed the message that students may not be the most accomplished writers but that shouldn’t ever stop them writing their stories. The role of a good editor was discussed and there were students asking pertinent questions about the whole process of creating a work of fiction. 

    There was a great atmosphere in the ILC as all the authors on the panel were speaking about the importance of finding the right book and discovering the joy of reading.  The loud and clear message was that  Reading matters!

    Sue, Michael and Mark’s advise to PARENTS included  

    Modelling reading - particularly Dad’s

    Reading the novels/ plays/ short stories/ and films that are set for study and talking about what you’re reading

    Accessing audio books ( Saint Ignatius College ILC  & Borrowbox Geelong Library) and downloading these to a phone/ ipad.

    Some suggestions for what to read included books by the following authors:

    Vicki Wakefield, Scot Gardner, &  Jay Krsistoff

    Specific  recommended titles included:  

    Lenny’s book of everything by Karen Foxlee (highly recommended)  

    Wildfire by Fiona Wood

    Inheritance – by Carole Wilkinson

    After the lights go out - by Lili Wiklinson

    Promise me happy – by Robert Newton

    Detention by Tristan Banks


    I’d like to share some comments from students who attended the night with a parent/s:

    It was really interesting to hear about the authors pasts and what inspired them to become a writer and all about their books and what inspired them to write them.

    Grace Woollard

    The literacy evening was an excellent experience that taught me so much. It taught me that you do not have to be excellent at English like punctuation or spelling, as long as you have a great story others can help you with the English language component. The food was delicious and it was a great night.

    Maya Eastwood 

    The night was really good and well organised. There was lots of food (maybe a bit too much) and the authors were really nice and gave good feedback and advice. Overall it was a great night and I really enjoyed it.

    Meg Swinton

    Finally – acknowledgement must go to Ms Elana Cole our (Companion’s Coordinator)

     as this evening came from  ‘a spark of an idea’ and she worked hard to bring it together. Elana was passionate about kids ‘unplugging’ from screens and picking up a book. The evening could not have been possible without the generous support of Librarians Mrs Leonie Stephenson and Mrs Rosemary Kelleher.

    Thanks to all the parents, students and staff who attended and if you didn’t make it  - there is always next year.

    This evening proved that - ‘A book doesn’t need a charger’ -  it is the ‘charger’.  

    Jane Alexander  Literacy Coordinator


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