Community Arts & Cultural Development

Storyville 2018

Storyville harnesses the talent of Equity performers to read aloud to young children, often from diverse and disadvantaged schools, so they are exposed to quality storytelling and to develop a love of reading.

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Storyville’s mission is to improve literacy through channeling the talent of performers and the magic of reading aloud. We believe there is no one better equipped to tell a story than a performer.

Storyville is a free program sees Australian performers visit primary schools weekly on a volunteer basis to read aloud to students. Storyville volunteers read to on average 1,725 children each week, with numbers steadily increasing as more schools come on board. The program specifically targets schools with socio-economic disadvantage and/or schools where for a majority of students, English is a second language.

We are in the third year of rolling out the program and with funds raised we hope to be able to employ a Storyville scheduler for a year, to assist in developing the reach of our program. We want to employ a Storyville volunteer for this role, a great way for us to help support performers who often experience financial stress due to irregular income streams.

The Storyville initiative was founded on the premise that children should be exposed to quality storytelling to develop a love of reading. Research shows that one of the best predictors of children’s success in learning to read is being read to aloud. The key outcomes of the program are to:

• Improve listening comprehension skills
• Build a capacity for critical thinking
• Increase vocabulary and context knowledge
• Spark a positive association with reading

The quality storytelling that Storyville provides, moulds children into becoming readers, and significantly increases a child’s potential for academic success as well as lifelong success in general.

With your support we will strengthen the reach of our program and assist disadvantaged students, instilling in them a love of books that will last a lifetime, to quote Al Pacino ‘You’ll never be alone if you’ve got a book’.

Being able to employ a Equity volunteer performer to assist with scheduling performers and being a point of contact schools, will help us continue to expand the reach of this vital program.

Find out more at:

Storyville is the Equity Foundation’s literacy initiative, which harnesses the talent of performers to encourage children to read.

Storyville targets schools with socio-economic disadvantage or where for a majority of students, English is a second language. The program sees Australian performers visit primary schools weekly on a volunteer basis to read aloud to two classes. We train performers and then connect them with participating schools. The program provides a unique opportunity for performers, gifted in the art of storytelling, to spark a love of reading in children and give back to their local communities.

The Equity Foundation – the professional development arm of Actors Equity – was established in 2002 to oversee Equity’s publications, awards and extensive professional program. The Equity Foundation is independent from Actors Equity but offers substantive services to Equity members, free of charge.

The Foundation relies solely on the support from grants, corporate sponsorships, bequests and individual contributions to maintain our programs and create new ones. Our mission is to assist, educate and inspire actors.


The Pratt Foundation