Amaze’s Sensitive Storytime Sessions coming to a library near you
Amaze is proud to announce that its Sensitive Storytime Sessions resource has been included as part of the Public Libraries Victoria Network’s training for librarians. Amaze’s work means that Victorian libraries will now be more sensitive to sensory needs and easier to attend for autistic children and their families.
The news was announced at a launch event on Thursday, June 28, at Bargoonga Nganjin,North Fitzroy Library. Speakers included City of Yarra Mayor Daniel Nguyen, and Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie. Representatives of over 20 different libraries were in attendance.
Amaze had run trial sessions in various libraries in the preceding months and received positive feedback. One parent said, “Great session – very useful ideas and resources on how to help autistic children feel at ease.” Another commented that it was a “wonderful session that all children can enjoy.”
Participating librarians were supportive too. One said that they “want young families to not miss out because it’s too noisy, too overwhelming. A huge shame if autistic children miss out.”
Amaze recognises libraries as community hubs for families with young children and story time at the library is designed to encourage a love of reading, stimulate imagination and develop social interaction. The importance of exposure to reading and language in the first five years of life – alongside other areas of learning and wellbeing – is backed by strong evidence that suggests it has long-term impacts on education, development and life trajectory. This is of particular importance for children on the spectrum for whom social skills and communication may be impaired. For families with children on the autism spectrum, something as simple as attending the library can be difficult and overwhelming.
Amaze was delighted to receive a grant from Newman’s Own Foundation to fund the Sensitive Story Time project and continue working towards our purpose. Amaze would like to thank Newman’s Own Foundation for their support. Amaze would also like to thank the Public Libraries Victoria Network, as well as the particular libraries who worked closely with Amazeon the project: Yarra Libraries, Campaspe Libraries, and Deer Park Library.