Who We Are
Literacy for Life was established in 2008 and has been operating at its Cook Shops offices since the beginning of 2009. It has grown from a humble 5 students per week in 2008 to over 100 students per week in 2017. This lively number provided the opportunity to satisfy the oft-requested opening of an additional southside Literacy for Life office in Kambah, just behind Kambah Village, at the beginning of 2017.
Literacy for Life grew out of the Parents as Tutors Program (PTP) at the Schools and Community Centre, University of Canberra. Jane was co-ordinator of the PTP and Kristine, Gaynor and Cath also come from academic and student support roles in the Faculty of Education at University of Canberra. The PTP was, for 25 years, an education program whose purpose was literacy research and teaching using the Scaffolding Literacy teaching approach. The PTP worked with families whose children struggled to make age-appropriate literacy gains at primary or secondary school. It combined parent seminars with a series of intensive one-on-one literacy learning tutorials. The program took into account the effect that a child’s literacy difficulties have on the family and taught the parent effective strategies to use to assist their child, enabling them to provide ongoing support for their child once their participation in the program finished.
The Parents as Tutors Program ended in 2008, providing the opportunity for Literacy for Life to fill the much needed gap for students and families looking for specialised and individual assistance in all aspects of literacy.
Jane Stirling has been living and breathing the Scaffolding Literacy pedagogy since its inception. Jane holds a Bachelor of Education degree and a Master of Education (Honours) research degree, specialising in early literacy education. She teaches to make a difference in the lives of children for whom literacy is an everyday struggle and trauma. For many years Jane was the Coordinator of the Parents as Tutors Program at the University of Canberra. Her mission is to enable her students to access academic discourse and to experience the wonder of entering the other worlds of books.