All ready for sum­mer read­ing


For 20 years a pop­u­lar read­ing pro­gramme has helped Palmer­ston North chil­dren main­tain their read­ing lev­els over the long sum­mer hol­i­day break.

So pop­u­lar in fact, that num­bers have been capped at 600.

Palmer­ston North City Li­brary chil­dren’s pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor Rhonda Chen­ery said even with places for 600 par­tic­i­pants, the E.C.Read’n Sum­mer Read­ing pro­gramme for chil­dren aged be­tween 4 and 13 years, was usu­ally over­sub­scribed, and the chil­dren had to be bal­loted.

‘‘It is one of the most pop­u­lar free sum­mer ac­tiv­i­ties we of­fer.’’

Chen­ery said while chil­dren have to reg­is­ter, ev­ery ef­fort was made to ac­com­mo­date as many as pos­si­ble so that no one missed out.

‘‘We’ve ex­tended the num­bers by 20 or so ev­ery year by al­lo­cat­ing ex­tra places and making use of our com­mu­nity Liv­ing Rooms.’’

As well as main­tain­ing and im­prov­ing read­ing lev­els, the pro­gramme fo­cuses on read­ing as a fun ac­tiv­ity, en­cour­ag­ing chil­dren to ex­plore new books, and of­fers one-on-one ses­sions, and fol­lowups if re­quired.

‘‘There are re­wards, in­cen­tives and ac­tiv­i­ties, but for most chil­dren it’s the joy of shar­ing their read­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, and why such a high per­cent­age of those tak­ing part qual­ify to at­tend the fi­nale.’’

It will be hosted by the city li­brary and also held at com­mu­nity li­braries in Ash­hurst, Roslyn, Awa­puni and Te Patik­i­tiki in High­bury.

The pro­gramme this year of­fers op­tions in te reo Maori, Chi­nese (Man­darin), French, Span­ish, Japanese and Ger­man to sup­port those who speak those first lan­guages in the home.

The pro­gramme’s 20-year longevity has been made pos­si­ble by con­tin­u­ous spon­sor­ship from the Eastern and Cen­tral Com­mu­nity Trust.

‘‘It sup­ports read­ing at home and read­ing to­gether. Read­ing is still one of the best ways of cre­at­ing life-long learn­ers,’’ Chen­ery said.

The E.C.Read’n Sum­mer Read­ing bal­lot will be held from Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 31 to Sun­day, Novem­ber 13, with reg­is­tra­tion de­tails on the Palmer­ston North City Li­brary web­site, or at any of the city’s com­mu­nity li­braries.

The pro­gramme starts on Novem­ber 28 be­fore the sum­mer hol­i­days start, with af­ter school ses­sions. The fi­nale will be in the Es­planade on Jan­uary 19.

‘‘Read­ing is still one of the best ways of cre­at­ing life-long learn­ers’’ Rhonda Chen­ery

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