Local high school students pass on their love of reading

Local high school students pass on their love of reading

Babies born at Gladstone Hospital in the lead-up to Christmas were given their very first book, and hopefully a lifelong love of reading, by a thoughtful group of Toolooa State High students.

Books4Bubs is part of Toolooa’s junior leadership program, and brings together like-minded Year 7, 8 and 9 students who want to promote literacy and reading.

In addition to wrapping picture books as Christmas gifts for newborns, the students visited primary schools to read to Prep and Year 1 students, and collected books to send to children in Papua New Guinea.

Coordinating Teacher Ann Mallie said Books4Bubs, now in its second year, originated from her own love of books and literacy.

“I taught Prep to Year 3 for 30 years so I have always had a passion for connecting with young children through reading,” she said.

“I love being able to continue that at Toolooa State High.

“I worry that with all the technology young children have access to, they risk losing that physical connection with books.

“Books4Bubs is our little way of getting in early, and helping parents and carers build a connection with their babies by reading to them.

“Each book has been lovingly wrapped by the students and includes a special message from Flynn, Mitch, Tairui, Niel, Carleen, Charley, Zarah, Jasmine, Austyn and Ibrahim.”

Year 7 student Charley Ryan said she loved books, and didn’t think twice about volunteering, even though some of the work was completed in her own time.

“It was really fun,” she said.

“I loved visiting the little kids at Gladstone South State School and reading my favourite story, ‘All I want for Christmas is Rain’ by Cori Brooke, to the Preps at Kin Kora.”

Ann said the idea of students giving freely of their time, and giving to others, was an added bonus of the program.

“I am so proud of the 10 Year 7 students who took part this year, they did an amazing job and have grown in confidence,” she said.

“We’re already looking forward to next year.

“This year’s new picture books were mostly sourced from donations, but next year we’d like to fundraise so we can really curate which books we give to the newborns.”