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BACK TO SCHOOL: How to Prepare Tweens & Teens

How Pyjama Angels Help Develop Foster Kids’ Life Skills

Pyjama Angels create positive relationships with children in care; empowering them with learning, life skills and confidence. By becoming an Angel you have the potential to build many skills in these kids, ultimately changing the direction of their lives. Here a few of the many ways your commitment can do this:

Language

Language plays a significant role in a child’s development. Whether it’s communication through speaking, writing, expressions and gestures. It enables a child to effectively communicate throughout life. In certain upbringings and circumstances, the development of language can be impacted upon a child.

Children in foster care, often acquire low or delayed language and communication skills, compared to their peers at school. Statistics show from June 2016, 46,448 children Australia wide are in out-of-home care per day. Language and communication delays can lead to long-term negative effects on their social competence, mental health and academic achievements. Valuable time spent with a Pyjama Angel can improve the language development of child in foster care.

Attention span

Concentration in school can be challenging for children in general. An unstable upbringing and background can have greater impact a foster child’s concentration amongst their peers. The Pyjama Foundation has trained 949 Pyjama Angels in the last year. Trained to assist and mentor foster children in improving the development of their attention span. Guided by a Pyjama Angel, positive techniques and methods are implemented to suit each child’s own level of development.

Co-operation

Children need positive guidance to learn and achieve positive co-operation skills in life. School is the perfect environment for children to obtain this skill; playing together, reading together and teamwork within the classroom is an important factor. An interrupted home can impact the development of co-operation and teamwork skills amongst foster children. A Pyjama Angel can help improve these skills by encouraging positive teamwork techniques to read and play as a team.

 

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Self-esteem

A child’s self-esteem is dependent upon their home environment. Emotional abuse and neglect are sadly often experienced by children in care, with statistics showing that 45% of boys and 44% of girls have experienced emotional abuse and neglect in from 2015 to 2016. This impacts a child’s self-esteem, which can have further negative effects on their language, attention span and cooperation skills as they develop. Pyjama Angels are trained to mentor, boost and encourage a foster child’s self-esteem through the Love of Learning program – building positive life skills; confidence building, making friends and setting them up to foresee a positive outlook on life.

 

See them smile more often like this

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Great books you can read in the Love of Learning Program

6 Things About Foster Kids You May Not Have Known

Great books you can read in the Love of Learning Program

The Love of Learning program is the only one of its kind. It provides children with the opportunity to strengthen their literacy and numeracy skills outside of school. But as a Pyjama Angel, you aren’t a tutor. You’re a mentor. Someone who can guide the children in the program and be a positive influence. You show them that reading isn’t really so bad. If you’re scratching your head about what to bring along, we have a few suggestions the could help:

2-3 years

The Empowerment series by Stephen Krensky celebrates the milestones children achieve at this age. This series has of four books: Now I am Big! I Can Do It Myself! I Know a Lot! I Am So Brave!

Another crowd favourite is the Clifford the Big Red Dog series by Norman Bridwell.

4-5 years

The works of Dr Seuss are perfect for this age group!

Other favourite reads of ours include What’s Cooking by Joshua David Stein and Pass it On by Sophy Henn.

6-7 years

The Pyjama Foundation firmly believes in cultivating the aspirations of foster children.

Goodnight stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo is a compilation of the stories of courageous women who challenged the status quo and changed the course of history. It is a great read for both girls and boys.

Another similar series is the Ordinary People Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer. Each book focuses on different key historical figures such as I am Neil Armstrong, I am Jane Goodall and I am Albert Einstein.

Read the book before the movie

8-9 years

This age is an excellent time to introduce the books by Roald Dahl. This is the man who quoted ‘Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it’. His books are great to include in the Love of Learning Program for that reason; to help children believe in magic. You don’t need to look much further than Willy Wonka for an excellent read. Other titles worth bringing include The Fantastic Mr Fox, George’s Marvellous Medicine and Matilda.

10-11 years

The books by Enid Blyton ignite the imaginations of children at this age. Blyton wrote her books early last century but they have endured the test of time. The books are large, but because the stories are written for children, they’re easy to understand. Some of the timeless and most popular series include The Magic Faraway Tree, The Wishing Chair and The Secret Seven

As a Pyjama Angel, you have full access to our dedicated resource library where you can pick up many of these books. We want our kids to use their imaginations, be engaged and love reading just as much as we do. We hope these examples can help your inspire kids to do just that.

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The double-edged sword of volunteering

Love of learning program

4 Reasons You Should Invest Your Time in The Love of Learning Program

People are raised with the common belief that there is good to be found in everyone. This goodwill is often expressed through charitable acts, from caring for your children to donating time, money, or goods to different causes. One of the causes that might appeal to you is youth mentoring and children’s education. So, why […]

Pyjama Angel of the Year Awards 2017

August marked Pyjama Angel Awards month, where throughout the month we showed our appreciation of all our Pyjama Angels who constantly go above and beyond for our Pyjama children.

Our Pyjama Angels are volunteers who are coached, recruited and paired with a child in foster care.

For an hour each week, they visit their Pyjama child and focus on educational-based activities, as an extra support system for foster children.

The aim of the program is not just about invaluable learning but also to show the child they are cherished and loved.

During August we shared posts on our various social media platforms including stories, photos and quotes from Pyjama Angels who have made a significant difference to the life of a child in care.

Pyjama Angels work from eleven regions including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne as well as eight rural Queensland locations, and volunteers from each were nominated for Pyjama Angel of the Year Awards.

While only one Pyjama Angel from each region was named Pyjama Angel of the Year, we know that all our Pyjama Angels do incredible work and we appreciate the positive influence they are making on children’s lives.

We are constantly blown away by the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication our Pyjama Angels bring each and every week, and we are not the only ones who have noticed.

All our deserving Pyjama Angel Award winners were nominated for the awards, whether that was by their Pyjama child or the child’s carer.

Thank you Pyjama Angels for your contribution and ongoing support!

To see stories and photos from our amazing Pyjama Angels visit our Facebook and Instagram pages.

If you think you or someone you know would want to become a Pyjama Angel please don’t hesitate to visit us at www.thepyjamafoundation.com/volunteer/.

(Pictured L-R: NSW Coordinator, Megan Guenther, National Fundraising Manager, Deborah Scott-Ranson, NSW Pyjama Angel of the Year, Stella Angelo and Australia Post Representative and NSW State Manager, Colin Hindle)