About Us

Connecting and learning through stories

The International Literacy Project is run by a team of educators and student volunteers from the Faculty of Education and the University of Melbourne.

Our vision is to promote literacy, sustainability practices and a connection to place in school communities around the world.


The International Literacy Project is supported by the DHB Foundation and a Graduate Student Life grant from the University of Melbourne.

When COVID-19 lockdowns kept us home in 2021, we reached out through our computer screens to interact with schools further afield. This led to the creation of a sustainable model for engaging with students around the world.

In 2021, the project began with two island schools in the Maldives and one school in Chile. Now the project has continued to expand as we connect with new partner schools in a range of countries – Maldives, India, South Africa, and Malaysia. We have plans to expand to Sri Lanka and Ghana.

We welcome the involvement of students, from all courses from the Faculty of Education and the university as our project continues to grow.

F: International Literacy Project

How does it work?


We help students develop a love of reading and writing, guiding them towards creating their own class books to treasure.

We present an online lesson to the class through Zoom, guiding students through a literacy activity.

Our team later transforms students' work into a digital e-book, for the class to use.


Sessions focus on three broad themes:

  • Sharing about place
  • Promoting sustainability
  • Storytelling

View our gallery page to see the beautiful books students have created based on these themes.

Teaching themes

Teaching Themes

Our sessions are centered around children’s stories and are facilitated by teachers, students and alumni from the University of Melbourne. We use the stories as a teaching tool. For example, to facilitate creative writing, research skills and elements of grammar (such as nouns and adjectives). The power of sessions is that students are communicating with an authentic audience in the online sessions. As well as completing written tasks they also have opportunities to share their work orally, thereby building confidence to communicate in English.

Sharing about place

We use stories to share about the places where we live. For us we share about Melbourne and Australia, and we also learn about other places around the world. This gives students in our partner schools to share with us about their community and place.

Promoting sustainability

Using a range of children’s stories, we focus on the importance of understanding about environmental challenges and what we can all do to promote sustainable practices. A related project is the sustainability and stories website which provides free resources for teachers (lesson plan, PowerPoint and worksheet).

For more free resources: https://sustainability-and-stories.org/


Following the reading of a story, students are given the opportunity to create their own innovative stories. For example, the story The Hungry Caterpillar has been turned into a vast array of new stories such as: The Hungry Shark, The Hungry Tiger and many others.

See the gallery page to see the range of wonderful books students have created based on these themes.

Our team

Our team is based at the Faculty of Education, at the University of Melbourne. We share a passion for learning, teaching and travelling.

Contact Details

Email:  literacyproject-mgse@unimelb.edu.au

Register your interest in becoming a student volunteer here