News from The Arthur Holt Library

This week, we celebrated National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) – from space! NSS is an initiative of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) that sees a picture book read on the same day and at the same time by schools, pre-schools, bookshops, homes and libraries throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. It’s estimated that more than 1 million people would have been listening to this year’s book as it was read at 11 am on Wednesday morning.

What made this year especially exciting, though, was the fact that one of the readers was an astronaut on the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Shannon Walker read a book written especially for the event by Australian author Philip Bunting titled ‘Give Me Some Space’. The book details a young girl’s adventures in the solar system before she realises that everything she travelled so far to find can be found right here on Earth.

In what has become something of a tradition, the Head Master also read the book to a group of Year 1 students, accompanied by the School Captain in an astronaut costume. We hired a Planetarium for the occasion so the boys could hear the story under the stars and spot such constellations as Orion and his belt and the Big Dipper. The Planetarium was packed during recess and lunch and a number of Year 7 English classes were able to visit throughout the day.

Movie Club also adopted the week’s space theme, as did Friday’s morning tea, where staff were treated to space-themed cupcakes, music and a special reading by our Library Manager Mrs Courtney Nolan.

It was a wonderful opportunity to involve the students in conversations about books and also to remind them that reading is – and should always be – fun!

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”

– Jhumpa Lahiri

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