Schoolyard Stories aims to improve literacy outcomes through giving young students the opportunity to write and publish their own books.
Sophia Stefanos, managing director of Schoolyard Stories, launched the initiative in February for prep to Year 6 students. Though still in its infancy, the organisation has reached schools around the country where it has trialled its unique program.
“My aim is trying to get kids to love books,” Stefanos told The Educator.
“By getting kids to write their own books and sharing their stories with others, it creates a platform for parents and kids to start loving books.”
The program allows students to create a project online which they will then be able to publish as a physical book. Despite being less than 8 weeks old, Schoolyard Stories has received positive feedback from principals, teachers and parents.
"One of the simplest yet profitable fundraisers we have ever had at the school. Launching it during book week was an added bonus," said Craig Tanner, principal of Hughesdale Primary School.
Parent, Andrea Teague, said the fundraiser was a refreshing experience and her son and his friends were “excited to see their own words in a real book”.
Stefanos said the program is also a great teaching tool which can help teachers track students’ projects and progress as they transition from year to year.
“When the kids are leaving to go to the next grade, teachers can invite other teachers to login and have a look at what the student did throughout the year, so it’s a great transitional tool as well.”
Stefanos said the accomplishment of taking ownership of a book from an early age can give an all-important confidence boost to their creative - and perhaps even entrepreneurial - abilities.
“It’s a great confidence booster because as soon as they put something on paper it belongs to them,” Stefanos said, adding that the more children learn to enjoy reading the more they will read and get better at it.
“If kids enjoy what they’re doing, they’re more likely to do it. If they feel a sense of accomplishment as well, that’s even better.”
For more information visit Schoolyard Stories’ website here