A love of literacy 

HIPPY coordinator Leanne Marsden (top left) and LINC Tasmania library technician Denice Johnston with the winners of the Reading Bug Egg drawing competition, Willow Jones, 6, and Dane Lobegeiger, 8. Picture: Bodey Dittloff.

Competition. Since its discovery late last year, the Reading Bug Egg has intrigued children across Circular Head.

A total of 2100 stories have been told to the egg, and 135 children have collected a free book after having read a minimum of four books to a willing listener: the Reading Bug will hatch only when enough books have been read to it.

As it has spent time at each of the primary schools in the district, children have read stories and told stories – at times, simultaneously.

Keeping students busy more recently has been a drawing competition, asking them to draw what the bug will look like.

Based on their creativity, Redpa Primary School’s Willow Jones, 6, was named the lower school competition winner, while Dane Lobegeiger, 8, was named best among his upper school peers.

Judges Sue Popowski and Roz Heathorn were surprised at the variety of ideas that evolved into pictures, and how imaginative the drawings were.

The literacy initiative, introduced to the community through Rural Health’s HIPPY team, is hoped to help foster a love of learning and enthusiasm for reading among children.

HIPPY coordinator Leanne Marsden said the project is proving successful in achieving that aim.

“Hopefully parents will enjoy sharing a book with their children and encourage children to continue reading,” she said.

“A huge thank you to all the children who have helped the egg to continue growing and the schools and community members who have supported this project.”

While the Reading Bug Egg was nestled at the Smithton Library over the school holidays, frequently visited by children and adults alike, it has now made its way to Forest Primary School.

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