Every year, Mitchell State School (and other schools in the region) celebrates books and reading with an event called Paint the Town Read. The community of Mitchell joins in the festivity with local businesses along Cambridge Street decorating their shop fronts. Students, staff and members of the community are encouraged to dress in red, and hundreds of red balloons signal the message that reading and books are for enjoyment and learning.
To begin the day, some of the senior grades performed plays and a colourfully dressed Reading Bug greeted the children. From the school, the children walked down the main street, where stories were read to each grade by a community member. In Samios Trading, children gathered around to hear the story 'The Cocky Who Cried Dingo'. Doug read the story to children from St Pat's, and I read the same story to a grade from Mitchell State School.
In other shops, other shop owners and members of the community read other stories to other grades.
At the Mitchell Library, the children gathered together to watch and listen to a performance created by volunteers Barb and Doug, and librarian Glenda. The story 'Little Red Riding Hood' was performed, after which bags and books were distributed, along with a sausage sizzle and a large Reading Bug birthday cake created by our local baker.
Market stalls in the main street added to the feeling of spring festivity, and the splash of RED showed that the small outback town of Mitchell was well READ.