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Storyfest book donation to Longreach newborns and parents in 2023

Thursday 22 December 2022


Babies born at Longreach Hospital during 2023 will each receive a special reading pack thanks to a generous donation of 100 packs by a Queensland literary organisation.

Longreach Hospital Child, Youth and Family Services Manager Susanne Bardon said the packs had been donated by Somerset Storyfest, a nationally recognised youth literature organisation based on the Gold Coast.

“This is a great initiative, and we are very pleased to partner with Storyfest to deliver these packs to all our babies and their families in 2023,’’ she said.

Storyfest Chief Executive Officer Andrea Lewis said throughout the year, the organisation hosted a series of events connecting its audience with books and authors.

“For instance, in July 2022, we held a two-day children’s writers’ festival in Longreach – Storyfest Out West – and we plan to host another festival during 2023 as part of our outreach program,’’ Ms Lewis said.

“Our annual festival on the Gold Coast engages over 70 schools from throughout Queensland and NSW.

“We are also committed to providing opportunities for disadvantaged children and regions, which is why we are engaging with local hospital maternity services to provide reading packs for their newborn babies and their parents to take home with them.’’

Ms Lewis said each tote bag was a calico bag holding a board book for babies.

“We will also include a copy of our Storyfest Out West Programme (2022) and this gives folks an idea of who we are and what we do,’’ she said.

“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with both the Longreach and Emerald hospitals to provide a literacy pack to new families for all babies born in these hospitals in 2023.

“With literacy rates in Queensland currently sitting at 45 per cent with a literacy level below 3, now more than ever, we need to be nurturing and providing opportunities to ensure that books get into homes of Queenslanders as early as possible.

“What better way than to start promoting literature as gift when the baby is born!

“The team from the State Library of Queensland have done an amazing job throughout 2022 with the ‘First 5 Forever’ family literacy program in libraries which promotes strong early literacy in children aged up to five years.

“We’re hoping our literacy tote bag program will help support this literacy program and our regional families.’’

*    More on Somerset Storyfest: https://www.storyfest.com.au/

ENDS

For further information contact:
James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379
Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au

Somerset Storyfest Andrea Lewis CEO
0417 963 705
andrea@storyfest.com.au

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Last updated: 11 January 2023