Kids Future Club - Questions and Answer Sheet
What is it?
An afternoon kids' educational Kids Future Club that will operate 4 afternoons a week after school hours running educationally based cultural and health activities. The Kids Future Club will work with Aboriginal children (up to about 12 years old) who are truanting, at risk of truanting or who have never attended school.
Why do it like this?
Jalaris believes cultural differences in the way Aboriginals and the school system view the behaviour, education and control of children is a significant causal factor in Aboriginal truancy. European classroom etiquette accepted as normal by most white children is experienced as inexplicable punishment by many Aboriginal children. Therefore Jalaris proposes establishing a Kids Future Club where Aboriginal children and their parents can become acquainted with the processes of structured education.
How will we do it?
One of the primary aims of the Futures Club is for kids and their families to get exposed to semi-structured learning and child development activities as a way to prepare them for a school environment, and to encourage a culture of learning, literacy and numeracy. We will:
- Identify why truanting Aboriginal children are leaving school.
- Introduce the children and their extended families to the experience of structured education.
- Provide positive experiences in education, health and nutrition for Derby Aboriginal children and their extended families.
- Support education and health providers to improve in meeting the needs of Derby Aboriginal children and their extended families.
- Liaise with the local education and health professionals to provide them with information about Aboriginal issues related to education and health and to improve understanding of the cultural needs of Aboriginal children and their extended families. We will give them access to the Family Support staff and the Health Caravan associated with the Kids Future Club.
The cultural elements of the program will be conducted by elders and mothers who will work with children, teaching by:
- Storytelling, cultural and family history
- Going on bush trips, teaching about bush medicines and preparation, bush foods and cooking
- Making artefacts: collecting traditional materials and making boomerangs, coolimans, ornaments etc
- Painting; collecting, preparing and using traditional materials
- Taking children to traditional hunting and fishing sites, showing them how it is done
- Music: collecting materials for making traditional musical instruments, playing music, dancing.
The Club will also focus on the preparation and provision of healthy food. It will provide a safe and supportive play environment for local aboriginal kids, some of whom never get the chance to play and be kids due to chaotic and unsafe household environments in which they live. When not on Outreach the Health Caravan will be operational at the Jalaris centre, giving access to basic health information and care for kids and their families in the familiar environment of Jalaris.
Who will do it?
Who are we doing it for?
The Kids Future Club will be staffed by two Aboriginal Education Workers, the Family Support Supervisor and two Childcare Trainees. Kids (and their families) will participate in project-based activities on the key themes of Learning, Culture and Health. Numeracy, literacy and multi-media skills and activities like making picture books about cooking traditional way in the ground, are built into these activities.
Truancy is a major problem for Derby's Aboriginal families. The two local schools have estimated that about 10% of children registered with them fail to attend school on any given day. This amounts to about 60 children per day in Derby. Most of these truanting children are Aboriginal. This number does not include the large but unknown number of unregistered children.
- Jalaris has identified 45 extended families in Derby for whom truanting behaviour is an issue, involving 105 school age children and 101 pre-school children.
- Over a 5 year time span about 1000 kids and their families will be affected directly and indirectly by the project. The Kids Future Club will cater directly for 15 kids at a time.
- The Activities Centre will simultaneously demonstrate for mainstream educators culturally appropriate teaching methods for Aboriginal children.
Membership in the Kids Future Club will be by household, not solely for kids. In other words, if a kid in your house is a member, you become a member too. Jalaris has learnt over the years that it is really important to create activities and structures that encourage the whole family to be involved in things to support kids.
- More children attending school.
- Increased attendance by individual children at school.
- Increased trust in the value of education and the education system.
- Parents more encouraging and supportive of their children participating in structured education.
- Better academic performance by Aboriginal children.
- Culturally appropriate educational practices developed and modelled.
- Increased self esteem and confidence of Aboriginal children and parents.
- Teacher's better equipped to understand and support their Aboriginal students.
- Increased knowledge by mainstream services of issues leading to truancy and low educational attainment.
- Improved health and nutrition for kids and their families
- Better access and delivery of services to Aboriginal families by mainstream health and education agencies.