Members of the 2013 meeting of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT were entertained on the afternoon of April 15 with a rendition of “I’m A Little Teapot”, sung enthusiastically by Mia, Owen, Hunter, Nathan, Lily and Marley – six children currently attending the UnitingCare Susanna Children’s Centre.
Susanna staff member Cobie then read aloud a Susanna favourite, The Very Grumpy Bear, a delightful book about a very grumpy bear and his animal friends’ well-meaning attempts to cheer him up.
Susanna is a long-day pre-school learning centre in the western Sydney suburb of St Mary’s, where friendly and capable staff care for children aged 2-5 and take a contemporary approach to teaching literacy, numeracy and science.
Synod heard about Susanna Children’s Centre’s most recent literacy initiative, “Let’s Read at Susanna”, which was launched early last year by the Rev. David Reithmuller of St Mary’s Uniting Church.
“Let’s Read at Susanna” was born when centre staff noticed that many children in the St Mary’s area did not have books or a regular reading-time at home. A grant of $5,000 from the James N. Kirby Foundation was used towards the purchase of much-needed children’s books for a lending library.
The reading program was developed in partnership with the local congregation and a range of beautiful story books were purchased.
Having access to those books has helped the children at Susanna to make a better transition to primary school and learn to love reading.
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