Sunshine Coast Libraries’ story seat brings the magic of storytelling to Nelson Park
  • Friday 16 February 2018
ImageFamilies and children have even more reason to visit Nelson Park at Alexandra Headland with the launch of Sunshine Coast Council Libraries’ First 5 Forever story seat featuring artwork from the popular children’s book Josephine wants to dance.

First published in 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers, Josephine wants to dance tells a story about believing in yourself and following your dreams.

The book by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley has been adapted into an acclaimed theatre production set to hit the Sunshine Coast later this year.

Jackie was the Australian Children's Laureate for 2014/2015, has written more than 170 books and won more than 60 national and international awards.

Bruce is one of Australia’s best-loved author illustrators, illustrating more than 70 books.

The pair have collaborated on many occasions to produce iconic titles such as Josephine wants to dance, Diary of a wombat and Pete the sheep.

Division 4 Councillor John Connolly said the story seats were a great part of the First 5 Forever early childhood literacy program.

“Families with children under five should head to Nelson Park to explore the magic of storytelling at the purpose-built story seat,” Cr Connolly said.

“The story seat is a colourful, engaging and positive way of encouraging parents and caregivers to play a proactive role in the development of their child’s early literacy skill from 0-5 years.”

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said Sunshine Coast Libraries had been granted $1 million over four years by the Queensland Government to implement the First 5 Forever program.

“The aim of this universal family literacy program is to support strong language and literacy environments for young children from 0–5 years and their families,” Cr McKay said.

“We have already implemented a number of activities under this program and we are now installing colourful story seats in parks across the region which will be a visible way of promoting literacy inviting families to engage in storytelling, active play, singing and reading.

“The seats, designed by council’s Parks and Gardens area, reinforce the message, ‘the first five years last a lifetime’.”

Story seats are being rolled out progressively across the region in the following parks:

• Pioneer Park, Landsborough
• Nelson Park, Alexandra Headland
• Power Memorial Park, Mudjimba
• Muller Park, Bli Bli
• Russell Family Park, Montville
• Kenilworth town park, Kenilworth
• Maroochy Lions Park, Maroochydore
• Shelly Beach Park, Shelly Beach
• Grahame Stewart Park, Currimundi
• Brightwater Community Lake Park, Brightwater.

In 2018, families will be encouraged to obtain a map and head off on an adventure to find all 10 story seats, take a picture with the seats and share on social media using the hashtag #Storyseat.

First 5 Forever is a universal family literacy program aimed at supporting stronger language and literacy environments for young children from 0 to five years and their families. The program is funded by the Queensland State Government and is being delivered by 320 public libraries across Queensland.

Visit council’s library website for more details and join the #Storyseat conversation by following Sunshine Coast Libraries Facebook page.