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Greater Shepparton Foundation’s placed-based program, Oral Language Intervention (OLI), is now in its fifth year.

Greater Shepparton Foundation’s Oral Language Intervention program (OLI), now in its fifth year, is an evidence-based project providing intensive intervention from the foundation years’ to improve student language and literacy, leading to more effective learning and engagement.

We know early intervention in oral language development is key to changing educational outcomes of students, improving their readiness for learning and to take advantage of the opportunities education will afford them. OLI aims to change the trajectory of young people’s lives and their ability to find and maintain meaningful employment later in life.

Now in all public primary schools and one early learning center in Mooroopna, OLI aims to increase student literacy skills and empower teachers to embed evidence-based literacy programs on an ongoing basis.

OLI is not only achieving positive outcomes for the participants, it is also a wonderful example of our philosophy of strong partnerships to deliver for community.  Along with collaborative funding and the participating schools and early education center, a partnership was developed with the University of Melbourne Department of Rural Health to assist with the coordination of the schools’ speech pathology student placement program and evaluation. This partnership that involves the Speech Pathology Students inadvertently exposes them to life and opportunities in regional areas which may lead to opportunities to resettle in regional Victoria as future professionals.

A position recently became available for another Speech Pathologist to join the program and we were thrilled that the successful applicant was a past Speech Pathology student, Belinda Woods, who completed a placement with the OLI program.

Now with her qualification and her experience in the program, Belinda has quickly immersed herself in the classroom.

Belinda said, “I am excited to work with primary school aged children within a school that values student and family support and works so well with community to support this.”

In 2023, across the year, 18 Speech Pathology students from various universities were allocated placements across the participating schools and supervised by the programs qualified Speech Pathologists.

With these wonderful results to date at hand, it is our aim to continue this project in this capacity until the end of 2025 to gather more evidence to take to policy and decision makers to implement this into other schools.  Already we are tabling discussions with decision makers regarding the results of this project and its possible broader implementation.

You can read more about OLI on the ‘Major Projects’ page on our website here.  And, please look out for the 2023 OLI Evaluation Report is set for release in the near future.

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