$600,000 literacy support boost for Masterton

Feb 2024

Masterton Trust Lands Trust (MTLT) is investing $600,000 over the next three years to deliver literacy support for Masterton’s youngest learners.

“In line with philanthropic best practice, we’re investing in long-term educational opportunities that deliver measurable outcomes. The MTLT Supplementary Literacy Support Project is our commitment to helping Masterton students in their first three years of school to become successful readers and writers by the time they start college. We want young learners to get the support they need without leaving Masterton,” says Trust chair Christine Brewster.

The Trust engaged educational specialists Maria McKenzie and Gabrielle Wall to research the literacy needs of Masterton students. “We wanted to understand how the Trust could best target its investment in education. We learned that early literacy intervention can have a successful and lasting impact,” says Christine.

Local research in September 2023 revealed that 42 percent of students in years 1 to 3 across eight schools in the Trust district were below expected reading and writing levels.

Nationwide, data from the National Monitoring Study of Student Assessment (NMSA) in 2019 reported that 37 percent of learners throughout New Zealand were not meeting reading and writing expecations in Year 4. These statistics increased as students moved through their school years. By year 8, 44 percent weren’t meeting reading expectations, and 65 percent weren’t meeting writing expectations. A UNICEF report in 2020 found over a third of NZ 15 year olds did not have basic literacy proficiency.

The Trust’s investment will fund a full-time Specialist Teacher of Literacy for three years – servicing the eight schools in the Trust district (TKKM o Wairarapa, Lakeview, Masterton Primary, Douglas Park, Fernridge, Solway, St Patrick’s and Hadlow Preparatory School). It includes a fund to supplement established literacy programmes in Masterton schools and support for literacy professional development for teachers.

For more information contact Andrew Croskery, General Manager 06 370 0155