Jay Laga’aia performs for Clifton kids
CLIFTON State School was abuzz with bubbles, bopping and big smiles as Jay Laga'aia performed to students for Under 8s Week.
About 400 students from 10 schools in the Clifton district attended the event.
Clifton State School Principal Damien Daly said the day was a celebration for children up to the age of eight.
"It's the last day of Under 8s Week, and we're celebrating with a cluster under eights day," he said.
"It involves a guest speech from Olympian Karen Robertson and an early learning performance with Jay Laga'aia, and then a rotation of activities."
Mr Daly said it was exciting for the area to host Karen and Jay as part of the day's celebrations.
"It really makes it pretty significant and memorable for the children," he said.
Secretary of Early Childhood Australia Maria Stuart made the trip from Brisbane to enjoy the day.
"Under 8s week has been going in Queensland for 60 years," she said.
"It's a celebration to recognise that children are learning at this stage and we want to give them something fun to celebrate."
Jay Laga'aia said it was important shows like these make their way to regional areas.
"It doesn't matter if kids are in the city or the country, they're all engaged and they deserve to have a quality performance," he said.
"That's the reason we make the effort to come to these types of towns."
Jay Laga'aia is the Queensland Kindergarten Ambassador and has eight children of his own.
He has toured his Say G'day to Jay show throughout regional Queensland and as far north as Darwin.
"It's important for these shows to travel to regional areas," he said.
"We need to be in these areas because this is the lifeblood, these are children who matter.
"And I say to a lot of people, $20 in Clifton is the same as $20 in Brisbane and Sydney."
He said he was humbled by the energetic reception of the children who danced and sang along with his performance.
"Even if you come for just a visit you have kids that come up and say they listen to your music," he said.
"Even in a remote place, they come up and say, 'I know your songs.'"
Mr Laga'aia remembered his time as an eight-year-old.
"I was terrible as an eight-year-old," Mr Laga'aia said.
"I was always scheming to get out in the playground.
"I loved being stuck in my head, hence why I like the idea of enhancing kids' imagination.
"Imagination is free and that's what Playschool taught me; to play, and you don't have to buy something, you can imagine it."