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Get egg-cited for reading with free educational resources

USQ is offering a free resource to encourage children to read, inspired by this year’s chosen book for National Simultaneous Storytime - Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas.

Children across the country will read along together for National Simultaneous Storytime…but this year will be a little different.

Due to COVID-19, many face-to-face events have been cancelled, so the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) have hen-picked resources to accompany the Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas reading.

The Australian Library and Information Association’s National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is an annual campaign that encourages young Australians to read the same children’s book simultaneously. This year’s NSS will be held on May 27 at 11am.

As the University is unable to hold on campus events for local school and families, it’s offering a free educational resource for parents and teachers to encourage a love of reading in children.

USQ Education lecturer Kylie Meyer has developed the 45-page resource, inspired by this year’s chosen book (Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas, written and illustrated by Lucinda Gifford).

Suitable for children in the primary years, the activities focus on literacy skills that encourage higher-order thinking and hands-on learning.

“Children have been spending a lot more time at home than usual due to COVID-19 restrictions, so I wanted them to have something fun and educational that they can do with their parents and siblings,” said Ms Meyer, who is a lover of children’s picture books.

In addition to this, USQ Bachelor of Education pre-service teacher Ainsley Flint has recorded a read-aloud of the picture book and follow-up activities and videos based on the book.

“National Simultaneous Storytime is a wonderful event that promotes the value of reading and literacy at an early age, but involving parents will also help them develop a habit of reading to their children, even after their children can read independently,” Ms Meyer said.

“A love of reading is so important to literacy development and fostering lifelong reading habits.”

Ms Meyer has been creating and sharing teaching resources for the past seven years to benefit teachers across the country and internationally.

She originally started making the resources to support her education students and graduates from the University, but through social media, her work now reaches almost 100,000 teachers and pre-service teachers through the multiple Facebook groups she manages, Pinterest boards and blogs.

“Creating practical resources for our pre-service and graduate teachers is important as it provides a model of current literacy pedagogies and provides a service to the broader educational community, for all teachers, not just those from USQ. Service to the educational community is an important part of our work at USQ,” Ms Meyer said.

People can download the free resource and links to the video recordings here

For more information about studying Education at USQ, visit Study. Enrolments for Semester 2 are now open.

Woman holding book
USQ lecturer Kylie Meyer is getting in the spirit of National Simultaneous Storytime.