18 Jul 2017
Leading Australian children's education charity, The Smith Family, has taken its Let's Count early years mathematics program offshore for the first time with Orica's support.
Let's Count was developed by The Smith Family to help parents and early years educators build the early numeracy skills of the children in their care.
With Orica's support, The Smith Family has shared the program with kindergarten teachers, Orica staff and education department representatives from Manila and Limay in the Philippines.
The Smith Family's Head of Policy and Programs, Wendy Field, explained that the visit was a first for the charity in terms of overseas engagement through a major corporate partner.
'Children who start school behind in maths generally stay behind. Our Let's Count program focuses on building the skills and confidence children need, by making the most of numeracy opportunities in everyday life.
'This is the first time we have introduced the program to communities outside Australia. Thanks to Orica, we've been able to collect feedback directly from kindergarten teachers local to one of Orica's major manufacturing sites at Limay - teachers who will be able to become accredited to share the program later this year,' Wendy said.
Orica Group Executive, Corporate Services and Company Secretary, Kirsten Gray welcomed the opportunity to leverage Orica's global footprint to expand the reach of such a valuable program.
'The Smith Family is expanding the reach of The Let's Count program across Australia and we were thrilled when they said they would work with us to share the program with the communities that host our operations in the Philippines and India,' Kirsten said.
Orica's funding also directly supports the digitisation of the Let's Count program, which means The Smith Family can translate costly face-to-face training into online modules and accelerate the program's expansion across Australia and beyond.
Orica and The Smith Family will also explore the potential to implement Let's Count in Gomia, India later this year. Gomia hosts Orica's single largest manufacturing site globally with more than 700 employees.
About Let's Count
Let's Count is an early mathematics program for children aged three to five, developed by The Smith Family and Professor Bob Perry from Charles Sturt University and Associate Professor Ann Gervasoni from Monash University.
The program supports parents and early years educators to develop the maths skills of the children in their care by noticing, exploring and talking about numbers, counting, measurement and patterns in their daily lives.The Let's Count project is supported by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training through the National Innovation and Science Agenda.