Ganima is sharing your gift with her family and community

As a single mother of six, Ganima has tried to give her children all they need. Yet she didn’t know a lot about supporting a child’s learning in the early years. Then her youngest, Janeva, started showing a real interest in books. So Ganima was thrilled to take part in our Let’s Read program.

"During Let’s Read, Jane from The Smith Family read a story to the children. She was very good with the actions and words in the book,” said Ganima.

“The kids really enjoyed it! They got up and danced. Now I am also doing more active reading with my kids and my grandkids.”

Research shows that supporting children’s early development lays the basis for them to grow up with the skills to succeed, bringing benefits for them and the community as a whole.1

Ganima is excited about giving Janeva and her grandchildren a solid start to their education. And as a member of the Torres Strait Islander community, she is encouraging other Indigenous parents to do the same.

“If you don't start from home, when children get to school they feel shy and may not feel confident to pick up a book and read,” said Ganima.

I think you've got to show the importance of reading at home. For my older children, I didn't have this knowledge. Now I have two young granddaughters. I sit down and read with them when they come over.

“I've passed on what I learned at Let's Read to Indigenous parents, by sharing with them how it is important to read from the beginning and how it benefits young children.”

Now Ganima can’t believe how quickly Janeva is learning.

“My youngest is more exposed [to reading]. I see the difference. Janeva is advanced. Every day, she says, ‘Oh, Mum, I want to do some work,’” said Ganima.

“So we pull out all our activity books, showing her the pencil grip and building up her vocabulary from books. She sits down and she really enjoys it. And she can count to 20 – she’s just turned four!”

Ganima is so grateful to Champions like you for helping Janeva to develop vital skills early on.

"I want my children to have a good education for their future. I want them to get good jobs and have independence in their lives,” said Ganima.

“Without The Smith Family, the kids would have missed out on opportunities. I thank the supporters. They’re doing a really good job!”

1. Australian Government (2016), ‘Australian Early Development Census National Report 2015: A snapshot of early childhood development in Australia’, Department of Education and Training, Canberra.