Date: June 18, 2024

Children in a classroom with Author

Ardoch is a children’s education charity with a mission to help disadvantaged children engage in learning and envision a future full of possibilities. The charity envisions a world in which every child can reach their full potential through active participation in education.

This conviction drives Ardoch to boost engagement, build aspirations, and improve learning outcomes for children in disadvantaged areas through community and workplace volunteers that provide essential support to schools.

Literacy is essential for educational and future success. However, social background often influences literacy outcomes. A 2020 study revealed that 25% of Year 7 students did not meet the expected literacy standard, with poorer outcomes more common among students from disadvantaged backgrounds, Indigenous Australians, and rural students.

Ardoch’s Writer in Residence program brings published authors into classrooms to conduct story writing workshops aligned with the curriculum. Over four weeks, authors guide students through identifying story ideas, developing characters, writing, editing, and illustrating their own books. This program aims to enhance students’ creativity, storytelling, and writing skills.

At the end of the program, Ardoch organises a book launch to celebrate the students' work, where each student receives a copy of the book featuring their stories and illustrations.

The Writer in Residence markedly program improves literacy, stimulates creativity, and provides a unique opportunity for students to meet a published author. The program has shown to increase student engagement, collaboration skills, interpersonal skills, and confidence in learning.

All teachers that have experienced the Ardoch Writer in Residence program to date have seen increased confidence in self-expression and pride among participants. 80% of teachers also noticed improved verbal and non-verbal communication skills in students involved in the program, and 68% of students felt the program enhanced their focus on learning.

In 2023, Ardoch supported nearly 29,000 disadvantaged children across the nation, through different activities, including 36 Writer in Residence programs. The Lyone Foundation is proud to donate $100,000 to Ardoch and support 16 new Writer in Residence programs.