Tea Gardens students engage with National Simultaneous Storytime

National Simultaneous Storytime promotes reading and literacy around the country.

READING became a national event on Wednesday, 24 May, as the students of Tea Gardens Public School (TGPS) engaged with the National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS).

Each year, since 2000, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) chooses a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, which is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops, and many other places around the country.

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This year’s book, The Speedy Sloth by Rebecca Young and Heath McKenzie, was enjoyed by students from kindergarten to Year 6 at TGPS, alongside over two million participants at 59,000 locations country-wide.

The aim, according to ALIA, is to “promote the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children’s book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6”.

TGPS student James said, “I liked both the exaggeration in the story, and the way Spike tried to do what all the other sloths believed couldn’t be done.”

“I loved the way Spike the sloth was cheered on at the finish line by her sloth friends, even though she came last,” said Sarah.

“It was lovely the way Spike the sloth’s inspiring journey resonated with the students, teaching them a valuable lesson of perseverance and friendship,” noted one TGPS teacher.

‘The Speedy Sloth’ was a hit among TGPS students, with many eager to borrow it from the library for future readings.

Writing, and thoughtful reading, are quickly dying artforms, especially in the face of the instancy of social media, which lacks any clear articulation or purpose, so this glimmer of focus on literature should come to parents as a refreshing change.

This all comes amid official promises to reform the curriculum, and widespread reports that NSW kids are falling behind on literacy, fundamental for being a productive member of society.

The students at TGPS cannot wait to find out which book is selected for next year’s National Simultaneous Storytime.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

Tea Gardens Public School students listen intently to The Speedy Sloth.

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