The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation has joined as a partner for season two of StoryKids, a family friendly podcast that brings stories written by children to life. The stories are voiced by high-profile Australians and aim to inspire children from around the country to get creative, and express themselves through storytelling.
The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF), established in 1999, is a national charity dedicated to raising language, literacy and numeracy standards in Australia. ALNF raises funds to develop, implement and sustain six innovative programs with tangible results, working across the nation.
ALNF’s programs address a wide range of learning needs, with a particular focus on Indigenous, refugee and marginalised communities. ALNF’s programs are targeted, specialised and community-driven. They give parents, educators and community members the tools they need to break the cycle of trans-generational illiteracy. Most importantly, they are proven, with 92% of participating students improving their phonemic awareness, meaning that they can start school ready to read, write and continue their educational journey. ALNF believes that literacy is freedom- literacy allows individuals to access education, participate meaningfully in our society and to have a voice. It is a basic human right.
StoryKids is an engaging and educational kids storytelling podcast, putting the spotlight on young voices across the nation, created by Dual Helpmann Award winner Verity Hunt-Ballard (Mary Poppins) and educator/actor Amelia Christo (My Fair Lady).
Verity and Amelia were inspired to create an audio experience to fill a gap in the primary school audio market, placing children and their voices front and centre in the creative process. Using high-profile Australian performers, kids’ original stories are transformed into immersive audio storyscapes that inspire and delight children and families. Children also have the opportunity to discuss their creative inspiration and process.
The new season features an array of Aussie talent, such as the ALNF’s ambassadors: Baker Boy, Benjamin Law and Jesinta Franklin. In addition, StoryKids has also onboarded some big names for Season 2 including the likes of: Casey Donovan, Eddie Perfect, Virginia Gay, Myf Warhurst, Alan Brough and Christine Anu.
Kim Kelly, Founder and Executive Director, Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation says:
There is such a strong synergy between the ALNF’s goals and what the StoryKids team is hoping to achieve. We want children, from all over the country and from diverse backgrounds, to get excited about reading and writing, which is why we had to get on board as a partner. For many families, it’s been an extremely difficult year and it’s been challenging to find new, engaging and educational forms of entertainment. The StoryKids podcast is a fantastic source of screen-free entertainment that can motivate children to get creative with reading and writing – we really want to inspire children to think ‘I can write a story and this is where it can go.
Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, StoryKids is a storytelling podcast for children and families that puts the spotlight on young storytellers from a wide range of backgrounds and voices. Each week for ten weeks, a 10-minute episode features an original story written by a child (between the ages of 8-14) which is brought to life by well known Australian personalities and award-winning sound engineers.
The chosen storytellers and talent reflect the different cultural, social, and environmental experiences, with a strong focus on amplifying marginalised voices. Stories have previously been written by Indigenous children, a bilingual 9 year old who thinks and writes in Spanish and English, a child from rural Australia, and a vision impaired 12 year old who wrote her story on a Braille computer.
Verity Hunt-Ballard, Co-Founder, StoryKids, comments:
With StoryKids, a child can see themselves reflected in the stories that are being written and spoken. This feeling of acceptance and resilience is at the heart of this podcast. Not only are children being entertained, they are being inspired to read, write or draw. The artists we work with truly believe in this project. They get a chance to use a different skill set and make a genuine bond with the child whose story they’re telling.
Selected authors and actors reflect different cultural, social and environmental experiences, and a strong focus is placed on amplifying diverse narratives. StoryKids is committed to using this platform to inform, educate and entertain families from all backgrounds and across all contexts, as well as fostering a modern and rich language learning experience.