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Students offer children a sunny start to school

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Sunnybank State High School students play and read with children from local childcare centres at Sunnybank State School

We've all heard the saying "it takes a community to raise a child" but what does that actually look like?

For the Sunnybank State School community, it is children and students of all ages coming together to learn and grow.

The school's deputy principal Louise Lamont said they partner with Sunnybank State High School and several local childcare centres to deliver Sunny Starters.

'It's a free playgroup-based program focused around building oral language, conversational skills and school readiness for the children,' Louise said.

'It is planned using the Abecedarian Approach and has been a significant feature of Sunnybank State School for a number of years.

'Children from Kyabra Early Years Place and the Sunnybank Anglican Early Learning Centre visit the primary school for an hour each week and participate in activities with students from the high school.

'The older students read and talk with the younger children and they all really enjoy working with each other.

'Many of the children come from non-English speaking backgrounds and we find it’s just one small way we can help the community build children's literacy.

'Plus it’s a great way for the children to become more comfortable and familiar with our school, and we find that they start school with a little bit more confidence', she said.

The younger children aren’t the only ones reaping the rewards of this program. Louise said it provided valuable training for the high school students too.

'For the older students, it’s work experience that goes towards a Certificate II from TAFE in either Active Volunteering or Community Services, which they complete through the high school,' she said.

'They come with their teacher, Kathryn Woodward, who helps them plan activities for the children.

'It's a really nice partnership that not only benefits the Sunnybank State High School students, but also our Sunnybank community.'

Sunny Starters is a long-standing program at Sunnybank State School. It is part of a suite of initiatives designed to support a successful transition to school for each child starting Prep.

If you would like to know more about Sunny Starters, or have a child you would like to get involved, please contact the Sunnybank State School office. Visit Sunnybank State School's website for details.

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Last updated 12 November 2020