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Read To Me proves a great education story

Mayor Jack Dempsey dropped into Cordalba State School to assist with the annual Read To Me Day program.
Mayor Jack Dempsey dropped into Cordalba State School to assist with the annual Read To Me Day program.

Storybooks were out in force at Cordalba State School on Friday as friends of the school and invited volunteers participated in the annual Read to Me Day activities.

Mayor Jack Dempsey was among the invited readers.

He said Read to Me Day is proving to be one of the most useful and engaging programs implemented across local schools.

“It’s recognised that we do have some literacy issues among our early childhood groups and Read To Me is a very practical and enjoyable means of sharing valuable time with children and providing a positive outcome,” he said.

Program coordinator Judy Robertshaw was at Cordalba on Friday and said the program helpds with language and communication skills.

“Unfortunately Queensland has an unenviable record of being second only to the Northern Territory as the lowest state/territory nationally,” Judy said. 

“However, the good news is that studies were revealing that if a child is read to four to five times a week, they were seven times more likely to successfully complete their studies.”

Judy said the current COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted the normal Read To Me Day program which had previously received significant community, business and older student support.

Cordalba State School staff members Alison Leeson (left) and Jan Rayner are pictured with Read To Me Day coordinator Judy Robertshaw and one of the popular Baggy Bears. Alison and Jan were among the many volunteers providing the knitted bears with the pair contributing around 35 bears between them.
Cordalba State School staff members Alison Leeson (left) and Jan Rayner are pictured with Read To Me Day coordinator Judy Robertshaw and one of the popular Baggy Bears.

“We have this year managed to take a mini version of the day on the road over a three-week period visiting numerous schools during that time.

“We set up three or four reading stations at each location with a number of popular activities like dancing as well as the reading programs.”

Judy said one of the really popular parts of Read To Me Day activities was the presentation of a Book Bag to each participating child.

“In addition to a book, the bag also contained a knitted ‘Baggy Bear’ which the children absolutely love.

“The idea of the bears is for them to become the listeners as children read to them. Baggy Bears never get exhausted and remain attentive all the time and will listen to a child read for hours on end,” she said.

The bears are hand made by volunteers right across the region with some 350 bears provided this year.

“The support from groups of knitters right across the Bundaberg Region has been absolutely amazing,” Judy said.

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