So what exactly is a National Simultaneous Storytime? Each year ALIA (Australian Library & Information Association) chooses a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, which is read simultaneously in libraries, pre-schools and childcare centres, schools, family homes, bookshops and many other places.
"It is a colourful, vibrant, fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children's book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6."
To give you an idea of the scale of this event and the community interest it generates – the 2020 NSS event, reading of "Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas" written and illustrated by Lucinda Gifford, had over 1,297,000 participants, at over 14,469 locations, (including participants from New Zealand, Thailand, UK, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong). Over 1 million kids reading together – how cool is that.
Image courtesy of ALIA / Philip Bunting
This year numbers may rocket (pardon the pun) since the NSS 2021 book is being read by the astronauts from the International Space Station. It's an out of this world event not to be missed. Join in by reading "Give Me Some Space" written and illustrated by Philip Bunting. Anyone can join in. Register an event here or look out for details of local events organised in your area in the weeks prior.
Image courtesy of ALIA website
This year also sees an additional Science and Educational component. Click here for experiment info - designed to shed some light on the important issue of climate change. The science concept shown will be "that changing the surface of Earth results in changes to sun/earth/space heat balance. When we change the surface of the Earth from tress, oceans and dirt to concrete, bare fields and roads and increase the CO2 levels in the atmosphere, we change the temperate on Earth and its atmosphere." The experiment will use space data and data from kids around Australia – with a citizen science component – collecting and sharing temperature data.
For more info on how to bring this intergalactic storytime event alive for the children in your learning space, click here.
Instilling a love of books and reading is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow on a child (in my humble opinion). So get ready to launch storytime from space with the NSS 's event and have a lot of fun, while actively promoting reading and literacy. Mark it on your calendar – Wednesday 19 May 2021 - don't miss it.