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    GATHER ’ROUND: Ararat Regional Library staff member Grant Thomas, sitting, with WDEA Works Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care students, from left, Caleb Bretherton, Taylah Dunn, Raianna Newman-Ngahooro and Katelan Honeyman.

Students skill-up in story sessions

Ararat Library’s weekly story time sessions have become a learning environment for more than its pre-school attendees.

A partnership with WDEA Works’ community and employment services’ Certificate III Early Childhood Education and Care students are assisting library staff to set-up and present the popular Thursday classes.

Sessions, which attract about 15 children each week, provide fun entertainment and help with pre-schoolers’ literacy development through reading and singing.

WDEA Works trainer and assessor Debra Opie said the Certificate III students were also gaining valuable experience by taking part in story time.

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She said there was high demand for early childhood educators in the region, and sessions gave students hands-on learning to help make them better educators when they eventually enter the workforce. 

“WDEA works is really keen to provide our students with as much hands-on experience as possible during their training,” she said.

“The students are really enjoying themselves and it has been great for them to get a taste of what it will be like when they start working in their chosen career.”

Ms Opie said the students helped library staff member Grant Thomas plan each session, selecting the featured book, songs and craft activity.

“They then set up the craft activity and help the children complete it,” she said. 

“The students love taking part in the activities, songs and dances, and their positive interaction is welcomed by the children, their carers and, of course, the Ararat Regional Library staff. 

“It has been a great partnership all round.”

Ararat Rural City Council chief executive Tim Harrison said library staff were delighted to have the students’ help.

“It is really great to have the WDEA Works students on board with these sessions and Mr Thomas has been really glad to have extra hands on deck for the sessions,” he said.

The entire November 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!