Sun. May 26th, 2024

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is back for its 23rd year and, as always, offers a great way to get your little ones engaged in reading and literacy.

Organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) the event is as simple as it sounds – a particular book is chosen to be read at the same time to children Australia-wide.

This year’s event will be held on Wednesday the 24th of May 2023 at 11 am and the book of choice is The Speedy Sloth, written by Rebecca Young, with illustrations by Heath McKenzie.

The ALIA website promotes NSS as “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.”

If you want to join in person, the following local libraries already have events planned for the day:

  • Armidale War Memorial Library: from 10.30 am. The event will include morning tea, story reading, and a craft activity.
  • Guyra: Full event details are still being finalised but Guyra Library usually holds one of the largest events in the region. Local schools will be invited and there will be a guest reader and activities.
  • Tamworth Library: Reading at 11 am and activities to follow.
  • South Tamworth Library: Reading at 11 am and activities to follow.
  • Glen Innes: commencing at their normal Wednesday Storytime time slot of 10.30 am, there will be craft activities as well as the book reading.

Some of the local library branches that fall under the Central Northern Regional Library (CNL) network may also decide to run readings closer to the time. If you are in this catchment area and want to keep an eye out for events, make sure to visit their website later in May for a full list of events.

Most primary schools also participate in the event so if you have school-aged children, it’s worth checking in with their teacher to see if they will be involved in NSS this year.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to organise your own event, you can register a group, or even just your own home as a participant for the day. 

The ALIA are very keen to break last year’s record of over 2 million readers and is putting out the call to try and get as many children involved as possible.

You can choose to purchase a copy of the book prior to the 24th of May but otherwise, if you register as a participant, everything you need will be provided online, including a PDF copy of The Speedy Sloth.

NSS is a great way to engage your children in a fun, communal reading experience and, the best thing is it’s completely free to participate. To organise your own NSS group all you have to do is register on the ALIA website, and they will provide you with a range of great resources so you and your little ones can be a part of the day.

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