Ballad boost for Tregear pupils' home reading

 Story time: Author Lisa Nichol with Tregear Public School’s early learning pupils. Picture: Gary Warrick

Story time: Author Lisa Nichol with Tregear Public School’s early learning pupils. Picture: Gary Warrick

Tregear Public School’s early learning centre pupils were treated to a story time rhyme when children’s author Lisa Nichol visited.

Nichol donated 100 copies of her book The Ballad of Dixie Lee to the school through education-focused children’s charity The Smith Family on May 8.

Principal Richard Ford said he was thankful for the support of the organisation, which has previously offered Learning for Life scholarships to pupils and facilitated garden improvements and a donation of about 50 pairs of Blundstone school shoes.

He said the books may become part of the school’s Home Readers library.

‘‘It’s about reading for enjoyment,’’ he said.

‘‘They get to choose and borrow what they want to read. If the books get to hard we encourage parents to read to them, or an older brother or sister.’’

Mr Ford said past author visits had generally been to older pupils, but the four-year-olds had fun being read to.

‘‘They really enjoyed it and liked talking to the author,’’ he said.

‘‘I think it is good for kids to realise that books are written by people at that age.’’

The Ballad of Dixie Lee is about a little girl with giant hands, who comes to realise her difference isn’t bad after a trip to the zoo where she sees animals with all sorts of unusual features.

Some of the donated copies may also be given to pupils in kindergarten to year 2 to keep through the Books In Homes program the school became part of in late 2013.

The early learning centre pupils will begin kindergarten in 2015. 

The program of three half-day visits each week aims to get them school ready.

‘‘They have no anxiety about starting school because they are already familiar with it,’’ he said.

‘‘They’ve been to the canteen and know the staff in the office so they feel confident.’’

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