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iSelect Titans centre Jamie Dowling certainly knew how to capture his audience when he took part in the Australian Library and Information Association’s annual National Simultaneous Storytime initiative yesterday.

Dowling read the book “Too Many Elephants in this House” to a group of Year 1 students at Somerset College, Mudgeeraba yesterday. Titans’ under-20s player Anthony Colman and development manager Darren Robb read the book to students at Benowa State School.

“I think the kids really enjoyed it and I certainly did,” said Dowling. “Hopefully it will encourage them to read more often and realise how important that is.”

The pupils were part of 140,000 across the nation who were read the book simultaneously at 2300 locations.

After the reading Jamie engaged the children to talk about the book by Ursula Dubosarsky’s.

The Melbourne Zoo elephant exhibit and an Australian wildlife enclosure at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo were among other ‘virtual’ classrooms that NRL players used yesterday to engage more than 1100 of the 140,000 students.

Players and Ambassadors from the Titans, Bulldogs, Eels, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Sharks and Storm read in libraries, classrooms, a learning centre and the two or by video conference as part of the National Simultaneous Storytime.

NRL Head of Community, Adam Check, said: “National Simultaneous Story Time is a program that the NRL is incredibly proud to be associated with as part of our community, culture and diversity program.

“We fundamentally believe that the profile of the game and its players can have a positively profound influence in the community, particularly in key areas such as education.

“It is particularly exciting to see schools in remote and rural settings involved in the event through the use of video conferencing because these communities are such an integral part of the rugby league family.”

National Simultaneous Storytime is an important annual campaign that aims to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books. Now in its 14th successful year it is a colourful, vibrant, fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy using an Australian children's book that explores age appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Grades F to 6 and the pre-school Early Learning Years Framework.