Funding brings literacy boost to kids in need

Morpheus Foundation and MultiLit team up to provide literacy programs for schools.

When Judy Tertini saw the amazing results of MultiLit programs in schools in the Goulburn area, she got “goosebumps”.

With a background in early childhood education, Judy understands the value of literacy in creating opportunities and building better lives for children. Born in Goulburn, an area with a low socio-economic profile and a large correctional centre, Judy had a strong desire to give back to her community.

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“If I could help kids with their literacy, it will help keep them away from drugs and crime,”  she says.

So, in 2017, she launched the Morpheus Foundation, a self-funded charitable organisation, named for the Greek god of dreams, which has given more than $1 million to initiatives supporting literacy learning across Australia.

This includes a large number of grants to schools in the Goulburn area with an ICSEA (Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage) score of under 1,000 to support the acquisition of MultiLit programs and resources, including InitiaLit, InitiaLit Readers, MiniLit Sage and MacqLit and professional development training.

In the 2020/21 financial year, 15 schools received this funding.

Judy originally contacted MultiLit about a partnership in 2019 and has since worked with the MultiLit team on several rounds of grants, a relationship she describes as “fantastic”. 

The Morpheus Foundation board is eager to learn more about education, so MultiLit’s Dr Jennifer Buckingham, Director of Strategy and Senior Research Fellow, and Kyle Pitt, Training Development Manager, have presented a deep dive into making up lost time in literacy.

Judy is excited about the results of the collaboration between the Morpheus Foundation and MultiLit.

“In one of the schools in Goulburn, teachers are doing withdrawal lessons throughout the whole school, and the delivery is fantastic. At a special needs school we work with, in the past kids would go to school and come out having not really learned anything. The kids are now actually learning to read.”

Goulburn High School, which is implementing the MacqLit program with a group of Year 7 students, has also reported remarkable progress, bringing some students’ reading ages up by several years.

“I am hoping all the kids doing MultiLit [programs] will be able to read once they get to high school,” Judy says. “I’m very involved with the schools and it takes a lot of time, but I just love doing it. The important thing is it’s providing them with all the opportunities literacy brings and making a real difference in their lives,” she says.

The Morpheus Foundation also provides support to a number of special schools and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

Find out more about the work of MultiLit and the Morpheus Foundation.

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