Jay Laga’aia live in Mackay and Moranbah for Read4Life

Famous children’s entertainer and Australian film icon Jay Laga’aia will perform two FREE live shows in Mackay and Moranbah for local kids to explore the world of reading at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre on 15 March and the Moranbah Community Centre on 16 March.

Well known for his roles on Play School and films including Nim’s Island and Star Wars, Jay wrote and recorded his first children’s album Come Dance and Sing in 2007.

Saturday with Jay in Mackay and Sunday with Jay in Moranbah are part of Read4Life – a community-based early literacy program designed to build awareness and understanding of the importance of reading to children under the age of five.

The free hour-long shows start at 10am and 2pm include time for Q&A with Jay and the opportunity to meet him afterwards. Bring your lunch and join Jay and the Read4Life team for a picnic between shows. Tickets are essential for all shows.

State Librarian Janette Wright said State Library was delighted to be working with Jay as part of the Read4Life initiative.

She said, “Jay is a great supporter of Read4Life and strongly supports its message about reading to young children as a way to improve childhood development outcomes.”

“BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC) has partnered with State Library of Queensland to develop and deliver Read4Life in Mackay and Moranbah.”

“Read4Life is also supported by Isaac and Mackay Regional Councils who are instrumental in delivering this program into our communities.”

BMC’s Asset President Jacqui McGill said the Read4Life program encourages parents, especially fathers, to read to their young children.

She said, “Reading to children enhances their literacy and educational outcomes – as little as 10 minutes a day can make a real difference.”

Tickets for the Mackay shows are available online from the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre.

Even if you are not attending a show you are welcome to bring a picnic along to the Mackay Civic Precinct and have lunch with Jay from 12.30pm. Tickets are not required for the picnic lunch.

Tickets for the Moranbah shows are available from Isaac Regional Council libraries across the region and must be collected. You can join Jay and the Read4Life team for a picnic lunch from midday at the Ted Rolfe Oval Park next to the community centre. A sausage sizzle and activities for children will be provided. Tickets are not required for the picnic lunch.

Jay will also be visiting local schools and hosting performance workshops for teens during his visit.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the inspiration for the Read4Life program was the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) which identified approximately a quarter of all Queensland children as developmentally vulnerable.

She said, “Read4Life is a community based response to the AEDI findings.”

“The program is deeply embedded in the community with local steering groups established and professional development sessions run for parents and carers and for professionals working with young children.”

“With such strong community support we’re confident the program will continue to make a positive difference into the future.”

The Australian Early Development Index is a population measure of children’s development as they enter their first year of formal school. Information for the AEDI is collected through a teacher-completed checklist that measures five areas of early childhood development. These five areas, or domains, are closely linked to the predictors of adult health, education and social outcomes: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills (school-based), and communication skills and general knowledge.

Event Summary:

Read4Life Mackay
Date: Saturday, March 15
Show times: 10am and 2pm
Tickets: Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre www.mackaytix.com.au or call 4961 9777

Read4Life Moranbah
Date: Sunday, March 16
Show times: 10am and 2pm
Tickets: Isaac Regional Council Libraries or call 4941 4534

Media enquiries: Cathy Stacey, SLQ Communications
07 3842 9346 | cathy.stacey@slq.qld.gov.au

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