Sum­mer’s the time to re­lax and read some good books

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

het­her it be Harry Pot­ter, here’s ally or Dr Seuss, read­ing should be an es­sen­tial part of sum­mer fun.

Over the hol­i­days, par­ents and care­givers are be­ing re­minded to read reg­u­larly with chil­dren to help main­tain school achieve­ment lev­els.

This is part of the Auck­land City Har­bour News and airfax Me­dia aware­ness cam­paign Have You Read ith Your Child To­day that pro­motes the im­por­tance of this sim­ple ac­tiv­ity dur­ing the long New Zealand sum­mer break.

Lit­er­acy ex­perts warn of the sum­mer learn­ing ef­fect, where re­search shows that if chil­dren do not keep up their read­ing dur­ing the big­gest hol­i­day of the year, they will slip back.

rey Lynn Li­brary regulars Sally Bux­ton and son Har­vey oodall en­joy stop­ping by for a read­ing ses­sion.

“ e’ve come to sto­ry­time since he was a tod­dler,” she says of Har­vey, now aged seven. “ e know all the li­brar­i­ans.”

She says books were al­ways around when she was a young­ster and as part of a big fam­ily, her sib­lings read to her.

Har­vey has added a few more books to his col­lec­tion since Christ­mas. He was given a pop-up book, a D book and a car ma e book.

rey Lynn com­mu­nity li­brary man­ager Claire Scott says par­ents of­ten bring in their chil­dren to read and at

pm there is a big in­flux of kids com­ing in af­ter school.

“Through the hol­i­days there’s a lot more dads com­ing in,” she says.

Ms Scott says a free sum­mer read­ing pro­gramme run by Auck­land City Coun­cil has also been a suc­cess, with 50 kids signed up for the read­ing chal­lenge at rey Lynn.

Lit­er­acy ex­pert pro­fes­sor Stu­art McNaughton says it is vi­tal that good gains in lit­er­acy made dur­ing the year are main­tained.

“ e’re looking at some decile one schools to find out the things that teach­ers and fam­i­lies can do to help their chil­dren con­tinue to de­velop over the sum­mer pe­riod.

“In some classes and schools the sum­mer learn­ing ef­fect is min­i­mal. e want to find out what al­ready works and build that into prac­tices in class­rooms and homes across the board.”

He says it is great for chil­dren to have ac­cess to li­braries and books at home.

ood lit­er­acy is strongly cor­re­lated with a greater like­li­hood of em­ploy­ment, higher pay when in work, good health and bet­ter ba­sic skills for chil­dren.

The Have You Read ith Your Child To­day cam­paign has been de­vel­oped along­side the airfax irst Books scheme and the airfax Book Bank.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Read­ing whiz: Seven-year-old Har­vey Goodall and mum Sally Bux­ton prac­tise their read­ing skills in a quiet cor­ner at the Grey Lynn li­brary.

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