Tara shares its love of reading with Book Week street parade


TAKING the time to read to a child is rarely so well celebrated as it is in Tara, and with this year's annual Book Week parade netting more than 200 participants the tradition is set to continue for years to come.

In the lead-up to the parade, 13 volunteers from the community came in every week to read to students from prep to Year 6.

Whether spinning yarns like Steve Reeve or reading a classic fairytale, there is always a sense of anticipation before story time.

"I just tell the kids stories that I make up beforehand; whatever comes into my head. I normally spin a scary story with an Australian theme," Mr Reeve said.

"I've been doing it for years. Kids just don't get stories told to them any more."

Tara farmer Gary Ellis used to read to his own children, and when he was approached for the task by Patty Geldard 16 years ago he decided it was the least he could do.

"She said to me that it was mostly mothers coming in, and not too many males. For me, that was the hook," he said.

"Now I read to the little kids - they love Pamela Alan - and I get a morning tea at the end of it.

"Doing this, you realise that it's not real hard to make kids happy. It helps that the community comes out and gets behind it too.

"Just watching the parade is brilliant for the town."

With St Joseph's School students, playgroup and daycare children joining in the fun, there were more than 200 costumed students and teachers in the street, prompting business owners to leave their shop fronts to see the procession.

Linda Steinohrt, teacher aide who has been involved with the parade for 16 years, said the parade's "connect to reading" theme had great support from older students, with Years 10, 11 and 12 helpers joining in with the preparations.

"I was really impressed with the student helpers, and the costumes were amazing like they are every year. I'm just so impressed," she said.

A special thanks go to volunteer readers Dorothy Muller, Jim Moran, June Dougall, Steve Reeve, Gary Ellis, Jo Davison, Roma Redgen, Majella Heatherington, Fiona Borchardt, Daphne and John Arnell, Cheryl Hegemann and Bronwyn Robinson.

Topics:  book week tara

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