Education. They won’t be in the woods today, but you will find hundreds of bears descending upon a local gym to hear a story or two.
Parents are encouraged to bring children up to five-years-old to ‘Teddy Bear Story Time’ next Wednesday at Smithton Primary School; a free event hosted by the Circular Head Federation of State Primary Schools’ ‘Launching into Learning’ program.
Teddies are also invited, with youngsters asked to dress either themselves or their smaller friends as their favourite story book character.
With the gathering entering into its third successive year, Smithton Primary School program coordinator Libby Grey is hoping to build on previous numbers with an activity engaging children with their toy companions.
“Last year we had close to 200 in the Smithton Primary School gym,” she said. “The kids like to run around, being the age they are, so it’s a great venue.
“We stuck with the teddy bear theme because kids love bringing them along. We’re trying to make it a fun and enjoyable atmosphere, something they want to come to.”
The morning will see appearances from Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam, Smithton Police Sergeant Lee-Anne Walters, Smithton Fire Brigade chief Trevor Kingston and an appropriate mascot for the event – a giant teddy.
Mrs Grey said the occasion was the best way to bring together parents, their children and various support groups to maintain strong relationships.
“Parents are the children’s first teachers,” she said. “There’s so much research that conclusively proves it’s so important to invest in the early years.
“We’re about spending time with the parents and keeping those partnerships.”
Representatives from Rural Health’s ‘HIPPY’ program, Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation, Circular Head Childcare Centre, Giggles Early Learning and a health nurse will also be attending on the day.