First books nur­ture love of read­ing

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Lisa Sloan

Finn Roberts wants to read as many books as pos­si­ble.

The four-year-old loves sto­ry­time at Wesley Kinder­garten and was one of the top achiev­ers in their re­cent rea­dathon.

And now Finn will be able to read his books at home as well.

Chil­dren at Wesley, Owairaka and Morn­ing­side kinder­gartens have each been given a copy of It’s Blow­ing as part of the Fair­fax First Books pro­gramme.

The book is the first of four they’ll re­ceive this year.

The Fair­fax First Books pro­gramme pro­vides more than 4000 chil­dren in low decile ar­eas through­out New Zealand a free book each term and the chance to read with their fam­i­lies at home.

Chil­dren are also given the top 10 tips for read­ing to help make sure they suc­ceed.

Massey Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Tom Ni­chol­son worked with Fair­fax Me­dia, pub­lisher of the Auck­land City Har­bour News, to de­velop the pro­gramme.

“Read­ing should not be re­stricted to a school en­vi­ron­ment,” he says.

“The tips are de­signed to sup­port par­ents by en­cour­ag­ing them to build read­ing into the daily rou­tine at home and ex­pand their child’s en­thu­si­asm for learn­ing.”

Fair­fax First books has been run­ning for the past three years.

It aims to re­duce the num­ber of chil­dren en­ter­ing school with poor lit­er­acy knowl­edge and read­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.

Fair­fax re­search shows chil­dren who miss out on read­ing ex­pe­ri­ences at a preschool level are more likely to have dif­fi­culty read­ing at pri­mary school and be­yond.

Finn was more than happy to have a new book to add to his col­lec­tion.

“I like my book and I like to read,” he says.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Story time: Finn Roberts, 4, and his class at Wesley Kinder­garten were given free books as part of the Fair­fax first books pro­gramme.

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