Maintaining our Community Connection through Reading Aloud Together

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Books bring people together. Stories are one of the ways we connect as human beings. They enrich the connections that we make with each other, and the connections that we make with reading and learning. Therefore, the National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) event is essential for young students to strengthen their bond with books and the value of reading and literacy. Now more than ever, schools and families are looking for ways to maintain connection with their communities and participating in NSS is a great way to do this.

The NSS is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) across Australia and New Zealand. Each year a picture book is selected to be read-aloud in libraries, schools, childcare centres, children’s hospitals and bookshops simultaneously. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s storytime will be held virtually instead.

At 11:00am on Wednesday May 27th, children, parents, grandparents and teachers will all open the book “Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas” by Lucinda Gifford to read aloud from either the comfort of home or classroom. Many local libraries across the country will be hosting free live videos through YouTube and Facebook, allowing all to join in the storytime. With the help of the internet, ALIA hopes to reach over 1 million children across both nations, and with the electronic resources provided on their website we can read together to ensure that this event will continue to flourish in the future.

Interacting with books and each other by simultaneously reading aloud together provide opportunities for families, students and teachers to encourage more young Australians to read and engage with books whilst upholding their connection with one another. Reading is at the heart of learning, and reading aloud offers a special sort of connection we need to maintain during this time.

You may wish to join on the event through:
Your local libraries online event
Registering for free at
Watching Emma Watkins from The Wiggles, read the book at 

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