For better education

By Benalla Ensign

Australian Christian College Hume has commenced upgrades to its early learning facilities thanks to a $149000 Victorian Government grant.

The funding, which was made available via the Children’s Facilities Capital Program, allows ACC Hume to not only expand and improve its interior space, but also enhance its multisensory structured language education.

Principal Norm Fitzgerald said the Christian college’s point of difference was its commitment to literacy.

‘‘Our teachers have been expertly trained in developing literacy, with three of our educators having completed the Associate of Multisensory Structured Language Education,’’ Mr Fitzgerald said.

‘‘And more are set to undertake this by the end of 2019.

“The Victorian Government’s ... grant is a critical component in supporting our educators to implement the early childhood fore-runner to MSLE called PreLit, which provides an invaluable learning experience for children in the Benalla community.”

The extensive work being undertaken to transform the early learning centre will allow it to double capacity and will also allow the school to cater for parents of ACC Primary School students who need the services of before and after school care.

Additionally the fresh learning spaces will amplify the early learning centre’s adoption of PreLit.

PreLit concentrates on phonological awareness and oral language development through structured reading, while complementing play-based learning.

The PreLit approach is different to common early learning literacy programs in that it provides a solid awareness of phonemes and the structure of language prior to formalised literacy education in the first year of schooling and provides a best practice learning environment for four and five-year-olds.

“The evidence-based approach of PreLit began with a research program at Macquarie University in 1990, and is ongoing,’’ Mr Fitzgerald said.

‘‘The combined learnings of more than 28 years of research gives us a great program.

‘‘It produces a very early foundation for children learning to read and benefits our students immensely.

‘‘We aim to provide learning environments and programs that will help children, regardless of ability, to thrive.

‘‘We believe that teachers and parents should focus on helping students to make the most of the formative years of school, as it’s very hard to catch that learning up later.’’

Further to these renovations upgrades to existing amenities, food preparation facilities, security systems and parent areas will allow ACC Hume ELC to offer Benalla families an exceptional learning environment.

To keep up to date with the renovations, follow ACC Hume on Facebook .