Ig­nit­ing love of read­ing

Hin­ter­land seat is the first of many

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - LIFE - Jor­gia White jor­[email protected]­news.com.au

IT’S the quirky and colour­ful seat which has bright­ened up a Lands­bor­ough park.

But the story be­hind it is sure to in­spire the minds of young and old.

Project co-or­di­na­tor and Sun­shine Coast Li­braries young peo­ple ser­vices su­per­vi­sor Karen Gawen said the idea is one which they bor­rowed from a sim­i­lar con­cept in the UK.

“When the First Five For­ever came out we were try­ing to work out how we could reach ev­ery­one,” Ms Gawen said.

“We thought the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor was ev­ery­one ends up at the parks.”

Ms Gawen said a big part of their plan was to show­case the beau­ti­ful Aus­tralian chil­dren’s books.

“The aim was to get the best ones we could find – in­clud­ing some lo­cal au­thors,” she said.

“We have some books from the ’70s, so grand­par­ents can recog­nise books and get in­volved.

“It doesn’t mat­ter how old you are, if you see your favourite book you’ll melt and re­turn to child­hood.”

Di­vi­sion 1 coun­cil­lor Rick Baberowski said the Lands­bor­ough story seat was the first of 10 to be in­stalled in parks across the re­gion.

“The Story seat is a colour­ful, en­gag­ing and pos­i­tive way of en­cour­ag­ing par­ents and care­givers to play a proac­tive role in the de­vel­op­ment of their child’s early lit­er­acy skills,” Cr Baberowski said.

Com­mu­nity Port­fo­lio Coun­cil­lor Jenny McKay said Sun­shine Coast Li­braries had been granted $1 mil­lion over four years by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment the First 5 For­ever pro­gram.

“The aim of this uni­ver­sal fam­ily lit­er­acy pro­gram is to sup­port strong lan­guage and lit­er­acy en­vi­ron­ments for young chil­dren from 0-5 years and their fam­i­lies,” Cr McKay said.

“We have al­ready im­ple­mented a num­ber of pro­grams through this ini­tia­tive.

“We are now start­ing to in­stall in­no­va­tive Story seats in parks across the re­gion which will be a vis­i­ble and in­ter­ac­tive way of invit­ing fam­i­lies to en­gage in shar­ing sto­ries, play­ing, singing and talk­ing to­gether.

“The seats, de­signed by coun­cil’s Parks and Gar­dens area, re­in­force the mes­sage, ‘the first five years last a life­time’.”

In 2018, fam­i­lies will be en­cour­aged to ob­tain a map and head off on an ad­ven­ture to find all 10 Story seats, take a pic­ture with the seats and share on so­cial me­dia.

PHOTO: BARRY JOHN AL­SOP

IN­SPIR­ING IMAG­I­NA­TION: Glen Meier and his son Jen­son at the Story seat at Pioneer Park.

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