ALEA (Mackay) and Rio Tinto Literacy Partnership

1st Dec 13

Last year the ALEA Mackay Local Council received a grant from the Rio Tinto Hail Creek Mine Community Development Fund. The ‘National Year of Reading 2012 Learning Community Project’ centred on bringing Hobart-based literacy educationalist and ALEA National Vice-President, Christine Topfer, to Mackay  to facilitate several professional learning opportunities with a reading comprehension focus. During her May visit, Christine shared the results of a major action research project undertaken in 2011 by ALEA Tasmania. Rio Tinto funding covered the presenter fees and also allowed teachers at each of the workshops to receive a copy of the ALEA text, ‘Reading Comprehension: taking the learning deeper’, to add to their professional libraries.

The goals of the project were to provide opportunities for the sharing of best practice around the teaching and learning of reading,  to strengthen learning communities that promote the skills, capabilities and attributes of local teachers and to ensure sustainability of outcomes by generating interest with teachers across the district in conducting their own action research projects that best meet the needs of their students. This project has had far-reaching positive effects. Late last year, the ALEA Mackay LC hosted a follow-up professional learning day, consisting of a variety of sessions with a reading instruction focus, led by local teachers who had been influenced by Christine’s work. Last month, Christien Payne, teacher at Proserpine State School shared the results of his school’s action learning project at an ALEA Mackay LC ‘Literacy Heaven’ after school professional learning workshop. Pictured:  Christien Payne with ALEA Mackay Local Council President, Julia Shaw at the workshop.

ALEA Mackay thanks Rio Tinto for their support of the ‘National Year of Reading 2012 Learning Community Project’. This work continues to help develop the capabilities of teaching teams across the Mackay district, influence hundreds of teachers and improve the literacy outcomes of many students. The ALEA Mackay LC is also delighted to hear that Christine Topfer is this year’s recipient of an Australian Professional Teachers Association (APTA) Meritorious Contribution to the Profession Award for her services to national language and literacy development.

Sue Hamilton-Smith, ALEA Queensland State Director

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