Auslan Storytimes launch at Townsville Citylibraries this Auslan Day

Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in Townsville will be able to take part in Auslan Storytime events for the first time with the new bilingual story sessions at Townsville Citylibraries kicking off on Auslan Day.

The Auslan Storytimes will run from 10am to 11am on the second Saturday of every month at Citylibraries Flinders Street from 13 April onwards.

Each session will be led by a Deaf presenter in Auslan to serve as a positive experience for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and help foster their early literacy and communication development.

The sessions aim to create equal access to storytelling, provide Deaf and Hard of Hearing children with an inclusive and safe space for reading, learning and entertainment, and foster connections between families in the Deaf community.

Deaf Connect Auslan Storytime presenter Mark Hooper said the program was important to help build confidence in young Deaf people.

“I believe a Deaf role model is important to influence children, that sign language is important to have bilingual language,” Mr Hooper said.

Deaf Connect runs these programs in NSW and Darwin, and this is the first time the First 5 Forever-backed sessions are coming to Townsville.

Townsville Mayor Troy Thompson said the sessions were a great opportunity for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, their parents and guardians to develop Auslan and written English literacy.

“We are proud to be delivering Auslan Storytimes for Townsville’s young Deaf and Hard of Hearing residents, as well as for visitors to the city,” Cr Thompson said.

“These sessions are tailored for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and will be presented by a Deaf storyteller in Auslan, supported by an interpreter.

“These fun, interactive sessions are designed for the whole family to come along and watch stories come to life, learn new signs and meet new friends.

“No bookings are required for these sessions, so just head along to the events from 10am to 11am on the second Saturday of each month at Citylibraries Flinders Street.”

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