St John's Lutheran Primary School, Jindera, opens library cafe

ANTICIPATION: St John's kindergarten students Levi Wilson and Stella Sargeant, both 5, receive a milkshake from their teacher Fiona Schulz in the library cafe.
ANTICIPATION: St John's kindergarten students Levi Wilson and Stella Sargeant, both 5, receive a milkshake from their teacher Fiona Schulz in the library cafe.

A cafe outside the library at a Jindera school is helping to encourage reading and connect the community.

The new space at St John’s Lutheran Primary School hosts morning tea for the Thursday morning storytime session and also provides a lunchtime treat for students.

“The idea is they don’t get a milkshake unless they read a book, so they sit out here and read a book and have their milkshake,” library resource manager Vicki Gilchrist said.

Storytime, open to all families regardless of school links, began six years ago as a community activity for children under school age and their parents.

“It’s a way for these mothers to connect, form friendships,” Mrs Gilchrist said.

“It’s word of mouth as well.”

The sessions generally have a theme that tries to connect to a visitor, for example Mrs Gilchrist’s daughter Brooke Jones brought her French bulldogs Teddy and Bear in last week to link, almost, with a book about a pug.

“So that the children experience something different,” Mrs Gilchrist said.

“We’ve had a fire truck and a fireman and then we’ll read a book about a fireman.”

More than 20 children and their carers enjoyed the books, dogs and craft activity before heading out for morning tea.

Melissa Butler, there with Azalea, 13 months and Alanta, 4, said the youngsters always had fun.

“It’s a safe environment for them but I’ve also made a lot of friendships here so it’s for us mothers too,” she said.