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Auslan brings stories to life for all kids at Bega Valley Shire Library

Sharon Kelley24 August 2020
Stephanie Johnston (left) and Anne Moore (centre) delivering storytime in Auslan at Bega Valley Shire Library.

Stephanie Johnston (left) and Anne Moore (centre) deliver Bega Valley Shire Library’s first inclusive storytime in Auslan. Photo: Supplied.

Bega Valley Shire Library is bringing the joy of storytime to children who are deaf and hard of hearing with the tale of a little dragon who lost his spark.

Jim Averbeck’s Oh No, Little Dragon! is the first of many books to be simultaneously read aloud and delivered in Auslan sign language by the Bega Valley Shire Library.

Long-running library storytime presenter Anne Moore said the inclusive book reading brings the universal language of story-telling to children who would otherwise miss out.

“It feels fantastic to be able to offer a storytime experience to kids who might otherwise not be able to participate,” she said.

“Being part of the library service’s storytime is a great way to boost children’s literacy and communication skills as well as their general understanding of the world.

“Stories help children understand everything from the importance of relationships to the value of making right choices. It’s sad to think that some kids miss out.

“We are very thankful to Stephanie Johnston for joining us in the storytime video and opening the world of narratives to a greater audience.

“Working with Steph on this storytime was a lot of fun and we will definitely be looking at further collaborations in the near future.”

Sticking with the dragon theme, a second book, Don’t You Dare, Dragon! by Annie Kubler, was read and signed using Auslan during the same storytime video.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all Bega Valley Shire Library storytime programs are delivered online. The library posts a new storytime every Thursday at 10.30 am on its website and Facebook page.

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