More op­tions for read­ing pro­gramme


When schools and their li­braries close over sum­mer, chil­dren’s read­ing progress can slow or regress.

For the past 21 years, Palmer­ston North’s Sum­mer Read­ing Pro­gramme, backed by the East­ern and Cen­tral Com­mu­nity Trust, has kept pages flick­ing over de­spite the dis­trac­tions of the six-week break.

Open for 4-year-olds to 13-yearolds, chil­dren reg­is­ter for the 600 avail­able places on the pro­gramme, which be­cause of the one-on-one con­sul­ta­tions with li­brary staff and vol­un­teers, means the po­si­tions have to be bal­loted.

Chil­dren’s pro­grammes co­or­di­na­tor Rhonda Chen­ery said the chil­dren re­ported in four times to share what they had read, an­swer ques­tions, fill in their colour­ful Wild About Read­ing folder, and re­ceive a mile­stone re­ward.

If each child re­ceived four in­di­vid­ual con­sul­ta­tions dur­ing the pro­gramme in the leadup to the Jan­uary 18, 2018, fi­nale, that was 2400 one-on-one ses­sions.

That’s the rea­son it has to be capped, though ev­ery ef­fort will be made to ac­com­mo­date as many read­ers as pos­si­ble.

‘‘The value is not only with the child, it in­volves the whole fam­ily,’’ Chen­ery said.

Last year along with English, te reo Ma¯ori and Pasi­fika read­ing progammes, the li­brary in­tro­duced Man­darin, Ja­panese, Span­ish, Ger­man and French.

Chen­ery said the mul­ti­lin­gual ap­proach was some­thing that hadn’t been tried be­fore any­where else, and with 60 kids opt­ing to read books in an­other lan­guage, they counted it as a suc­cess, adding Thai and Korean this year.

The li­brary’s Jeremy Cor­roenne said there was a good col­lec­tion of books in those lan­guages to sup­port the mul­ti­lin­gual as­pect of the pro­gramme.

‘‘It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to use first or se­cond lan­guages out­side the home, and out­side the class­room - if that’s a lan­guage they are learn­ing,’’ Cor­roenne said.

The pro­gramme was branch­ing out with re­port-in venues too, mak­ing use of Me­mo­rial Park, the Es­planade, Ash­hurst Do­main and on De­cem­ber 2, the day the Christ­mas tree lights are turned on, The Square.

Vol­un­teers are also wanted to help, es­pe­cially if they are flu­ent in any of the non-English lan­guages.

‘‘We need to get any who want to be in­volved on board as quickly as pos­si­ble be­cause there is an ori­en­ta­tion process,’’ Chen­ery said.

Bal­lot reg­is­tra­tions were open through any li­brary branch un­til Sun­day, Novem­ber 12, with the pro­gramme com­menc­ing on Mon­day, Novem­ber 27. For those who make it through to the Jan­uary fi­nale, there are book prizes.

De­tails could be found on the Palmer­ston North City Li­brary web­site.


Chil­dren gather at the Es­planade to en­joy the grand fi­nale of the city Li­brary’s Sum­mer Read­ing Pro­gramme.

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