An Evaluation from Two Communities

Topics: Western Australia, Health care, Literacy Pages: 141 (39370 words) Published: July 9, 2013
Better Beginnings: A Western Australian State Library Initiated Family Literacy Project

Caroline Barratt-Pugh Mary Rohl Grace Oakley Jessica Elderfield

Publication Details This project was funded through the ECU Industry Collaboration Scheme by Edith Cowan University and the State Library of Western Australia. Better Beginnings: An evaluation from two communities. ISBN: 0-7298-0607-3 Published by Edith Cowan University 2, Bradford Street MOUNT LAWLEY WA 6050 Ph: 08 9370 6346 Email: c.barratt_pugh@ecu.edu.au © Edith Cowan University 2005

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Edith Cowan University or the State Library of Western Australia.

Copies of this report are available from: C.Barratt-Pugh School of Education Mt. Lawley Campus 2, Bradford Street Mt. Lawley WA 6050 Copies are also available from the State Library Web Site: www.liswa.wa.gov.au

Acknowledgements
We would like to thank Margaret Allen (CEO of the State Library of Western Australia) and Susan Feeney (Director of Public Library Services) for their support and encouragement in the development and implementation of the evaluation of Better Beginnings. Without their commitment to and endorsement of Better Beginnings this project would not have been possible. The research underpinning the evaluation of Better Beginnings was made possible by the generous support of the Better Beginnings Project Co-ordinator, staff from the State Library of Western Australia, librarians from the Local Government libraries, Community Health Nurses and parents in two communities. The Project Co-ordinator gave a great deal of her time to describing and explaining Better Beginnings from its conception to its eventual development and implementation. But more than this, she was always available to answer unexpected questions or elaborate on particular aspects of Better Beginnings to ensure clarity and depth of understanding. The librarians and the Community Health Nurses gave a wealth of information, both spoken and written, in focus interviews. Their enthusiasm and openness enabled us to identify factors which had an impact on the successful implementation of Better Beginnings. The parents, who are at the centre of the Better Beginnings program, completed two surveys and took the time to write comments about the Resource Pack (toolkit) even though their time was limited, as they all had a new baby in the family. This gave us significant insight into their view of Better Beginnings, the value and use of the Better Beginnings Resource Pack (toolkit), library membership and activities and future directions. Finally, eleven families welcomed a researcher into their home in order to discuss Better Beginnings in more depth and demonstrate their interaction around text with their new baby. This gave us a wealth of information about the impact of Better Beginnings on individual families and insight into book-sharing practices and library membership and use. We thank them all for their interest and commitment, and acknowledge that the evaluation could not have been undertaken without their generous support and enthusiasm. We would also like to thank all the parents who gave us permission to reproduce their photographs to use on the cover and as part of the text of the report. Finally, we would like to thank Rhonda Draper for her excellent design and formatting of the final document and Jo McFarlane for her extensive editing.

Caroline Barratt-Pugh

Mary Rohl

Grace Oakley

Jessica Elderfield
i

Better Beginnings: A Western Australia State Library Initiated Family Literacy Project

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements ........................................................................ i Executive summary ...................................................................... 1 What is Better Beginnings?................................................................................................. 1 The evaluation of the pilot...
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