While some children starting school can use 6000 words when talking, there are others who are able to only use half of that. This impacts directly on their ability to learn and has been proven to negatively influence their future prospects.
Talking Matters, a cross-sector collaboration of early learning centres, schools, teachers, researchers, parenting groups, health and social service organisations, supported by Auckland Council’s education Council Controlled Organisation, COMET Auckland, is promoting the importance of talking more and talking differently with children to maximise their potential.
Ko Awatea is a strategic partner in this initiative, supporting organisations working with families and zero to three-year-old children in Mangere and Otahuhu to make changes and apply improvements. Ko Awatea will help the involved organisations define the aim of their work, develop driver diagrams to assist teams identify system factors which contribute to deliver their aim, and test ideas.
According to Rebecca Lawn, Ko Awatea’s project manager for Talking Matters, the first Learning Session in late February was a great opportunity to engage the teams. “There were very robust discussions and they already had ideas of what they might work on”, she said.
Alisson Sutton, director of Talking Matters, added that the first Learning Session was a great team effort from the Talking Matters and Ko Awatea teams. “We developed a team feeling and participants have gone home either fired up or interested to try out this new way of working”, she said.
The project has been supported by project manager Emma Quigan (Talking Matters), administrator Anabel Fernandez (Talking Matters), improvement advisor Sneha Shetty (Ko Awatea) and project manager Rebecca Lawn (Ko Awatea).
The next Learning Session run by Ko Awatea in the Mangere and Otahuhu area will happen on the 9th of June.
About Talking Matters
Oral language is essential for children to achieve their potential. Yet many children are starting school without the language to build relationships, participate easily and learn to read.
Talking Matters aims to: increase parents’ and family’s understanding and capability to interact and talk more with their children in ways that promote learning and development; support ‘trusted messenger’ organisations – such as family-facing services, educators, community organisations, health workers, churches, marae and libraries – to focus on interactions and talking; promote local community action on talking, reading, singing and storytelling with babies and young children; and raise children’s achievement in early language and literacy.
To find out more, please visit http://www.talkingmatters.org.nz/