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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Anna and Sage take their journey off the page

Two students at St Therese’s Primary School in New Lambton are determined to make a difference. 

Anna van den Heuvel and Sage Tonkin have worked with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation to create an initiative that raises funds to lift reading levels in remote communities. 

The duo believes everyone should have access to books and educational opportunities. 

As avid readers they want to help other kids experience the joy they get from opening a book. 

St Therese’s Primary School assistant principal Kaylene Maretich says she is incredibly proud of their idea. 

“Sage and Anna wanted to do something for other communities and had heard a lot of stories about indigenous Australians through their units of work in class,” she said.

“So, they decided to have a look at how we could help other indigenous students to get really good quality literature. 

“Sage and Anna themselves contacted the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and then found out how they could fundraise.

 “The [foundation] suggested a book stall.”

What followed was the pair working hard to organise the stall and receive donations. 

Hosted Monday to Friday this week, the school is hoping more than 600 books find a new home. 

“Sage and Anna know how far their journeys in their mind take them and that’s why it’s really important that everyone has access to quality literature,” Ms Maretich said. 

“Having access to really great literature makes children good writers, it makes them more expressive and good communicators.”

The event will culminate in a simultaneous reading hour tomorrow (Friday 23 July) – at 10.30am the school will stop and each grade level will read. 

“The girls have found dream time stories and books written by indigneous authors that they have selected for each grade to read during this time,” Mrs Maretich said.

“So the focus is still on indigenous literacy. 

“Sage and Anna are also taking a story that was sent to us by the Indigenous Literacy Foundation to the infants’ classes and they will read it to them.”

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