Free sum­mer fam­ily fun

The Tribune (NZ) - - VIEWS - CR RACHEL BOWEN

Palmer­ston North is a great place to raise a fam­ily, and that is never more ob­vi­ous than dur­ing th­ese long sum­mer days.

It was a huge plea­sure for me to help cel­e­brate the fi­nale of the Li­brary’s read­ing pro­grammes. Many chil­dren, es­pe­cially strug­gling read­ers, for­get some of what they’ve learned dur­ing the sum­mer hol­i­days.

The aim of the read­ing pro­grammes is to en­cour­age chil­dren to keep go­ing and avoid the ‘sum­mer slide’.

It was won­der­ful to join the 100 in­ter­me­di­ate stu­dents who com­pleted the I-read pro­gramme and the 500 pri­mary-aged par­tic­i­pants of the Sum­mer Read­ing Pro­gramme to cel­e­brate their suc­cess.

I’ve been in­spired by the chal­lenge of the ‘Palmy Dirty 30’ to get out­side with my fam­ily and ex­pe­ri­ence this amaz­ing place in a dif­fer­ent way. Chal­lenges com­pleted so far in­clude ex­plor­ing new parks, splash­ing in the river, swing­ing on a tyre swing and build­ing a fort. In­for­ma­tion about the chal­lenge is avail­able at Cen­tral and Com­mu­nity Li­braries, or you can fol­low the ac­tion on Face­book.

The Friends of Waitoe­toe Park de­serve spe­cial men­tion for mak­ing the Park a spe­cial place for chil­dren to ex­pe­ri­ence nat­u­ral play – some­thing, Coun­cil is keen to ex­tend as we look at the de­vel­op­ment of the Lin­klater Re­serve.

My chil­dren were very ex­cited to find the hid­den frogs of Pit Park on a re­cent trip to ex­plore that hid­den gem.

On Sun­day af­ter­noons, my fam­ily heads down to the Es­planade for the free ‘Sounds of Sum­mer’ con­certs be­side the cafe from 2 – 5 pm. Each week there is a range of mu­si­cal of­fer­ings, some­thing to suit ev­ery­body while we en­joy the sun­shine and com­pany. And if it gets too hot, there’s al­ways the Es­planade Pad­dling Pool!

My fel­low Coun­cil­lors and I are keen to hear from you, and there are lots of ways you can make your voice heard.

Coun­cil is cur­rently con­sult­ing on the draft Events and Fes­ti­vals Strat­egy – You can find the doc­u­ment on Coun­cil’s web­site – please take the time to have your say on the strat­egy.

Coun­cil­lors are host­ing ‘Let’s Talk’ ses­sions at Long­burn Com­mu­nity Day and Es­planade Day. Come and have a chat about what you think makes this a great place to raise a fam­ily, and what we can do to make it even bet­ter.

Palmer­ston North city coun­cil­lor Rachel Bowen

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