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Young bookworms set for out of this world fun

More than a million Australian children will launch into the most astronomical reading event of the year next week.

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is an annual initiative, organised by the Australian Library and Information Association, that sees a picture book read at the same time in places like libraries, schools, child care centres, homes and bookshops. 

This year’s book, Give me some space! will be read by NASA astronaut Shannon Walker from the International Space Station on May 19 at 11am.

The University of Southern Queensland is joining in on the fun by hosting a National Simultaneous Storytime event at two of its campuses with the mission to promote literacy and inspire a love of reading, books and imagination in children.

The University will welcome more than 100 Year 1 students from Darling Heights State School to its Toowoomba campus where astrophysicist Jake Clark will read the book before making and firing rockets with the students.

At Springfield, Year 1 students from Staines Memorial College will take part in science and technology, music and dance and art and craft activities following the story.

University of Southern Queensland Education lecturer Kylie Meyer, who has helped organise NSS events at the University since 2018, said supporting early literacy initiatives like NSS was a great way for the University to promote children's learning and development.

“We are extremely proud to be involved in an event that has a positive impact on children’s literacy levels and other foundational skills known to be important to reading,” Ms Meyer said.

“It is also a chance for our pre-service teachers to get involved in educational activities they might be implementing themselves once they graduate and start teaching.”

For more information about studying Education at USQ, visit www.usq.edu.au/study. Enrolments for Semester 2 are now open.

two lecturers holding a book and toy rocket ship
Jacqueline Macdonald and Kylie Meyer expect this year’s National Simultaneous Storytime to be a blast.