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Library to introduce Sensitive Storytime

Library to introduce Sensitive Storytime
25 November 2021

Mount Gambier Library Children's Services Officer Bec Coates with specialised sensory toys and aids that will be used to deliver Sensitive Storytime.
Sensitive Storytime - Bec Coates
Mount Gambier Library Children's Services Officer Bec Coates with specialised sensory toys and aids that will be used to deliver Sensitive Storytime.

Mount Gambier Library will offer 'Sensitive Storytime' sessions courtesy of a $1,500 grant from National Backyard Cricket, a fundraising program established by national charity Learning for a Better World (LFW) Trust. The first session will be held on Friday 3 December between 11:00am and 12:00pm as part of International Day of People with Disability.

A selection of fidget and weighted aids, mobility equipment and specialised headphones will allow children with sensory sensitivities to enjoy a storytime session in a space that is not ordinarily familiar to them.

“The Library Children and Youth Services team sought advice from the community and relevant sectors in order to extend the under 5 program to offer Sensitive Storytime sessions for children on the spectrum and with other similar sensitivities,” Mount Gambier Library Children and Youth Services Coordinator Kelly Lynch said.

“The advice identified the need for specialised sensory toys and aids and so we have used the grant funds from the National Backyard Cricket donation.”

In addition to the equipment, the Library has acquired communication storyboards to assist with children’s comfort level and understanding of the program. This visual aid will guide them with the sequence of events.

“Not only will children get to engage with other children with similar sensitivities, but parents and carers could potentially use this time to meet a new network of friends,” Ms Lynch said.

National Backyard Cricket raises funds for educational projects offered in country libraries across Australia with Mount Gambier Library one of 54 libraries to receive funding. The funds were made available following the inaugural National Backyard Cricket program which was held all around Australia last summer.

The grant-making process was managed by Friends of Libraries Australia (FOLA), a national non-profit organisation that represents the 12 million Australians who are members of their public libraries.

Bookings for the session are encouraged, but not essential. Book via phone on 8721 2540 or online at www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au/library under ‘Programs and Events’.

Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Communications Officer Ashlea Watson on 08 8721 2577 or awatson@mountgambier.sa.gov.au