Never too young to en­joy read­ing and our li­braries

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS - By PAM COLE­MAN Com­mu­nity En­gage­ment Li­brar­ian

Satur­day saw The Won­key Don­key au­thor Craig Smith visit Te Tak­ere­tanga o Ku­ra­hau-po to read to a huge crowd of chil­dren and their fam­i­lies.

Gen­er­a­tions laughed, danced, sang and em­braced the joy of words.

See­ing the ex­cite­ment in a child’s eyes when they know what is go­ing to be on the next page, or hav­ing them guess what is go­ing to hap­pen is one of the most amaz­ing things to ex­pe­ri­ence. Events like this only high­light the im­por­tance of read­ing for plea­sure.

Thanks to li­braries, read­ing is one of the most ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able arts ac­tiv­i­ties. Read­ing for plea­sure is strongly in­flu­enced by re­la­tion­ships be­tween chil­dren and their car­ers, teach­ers and of course, li­brar­i­ans. Read­ing aloud to chil­dren also helps them to un­der­stand dif­fer­ent top­ics about the world and ev­ery­day life.

It’s never too early to start lov­ing li­braries and read­ing. Read­ing, as well as talk­ing and singing, is viewed as im­por­tant in in­creas­ing the num­ber of words that chil­dren learn in the ear­li­est years of their lives.

A great ex­am­ple of this is the Horowhenua li­braries’ Books for Ba­bies ini­tia­tive. In part­ner­ship with the lo­cal ma­ter­nity unit the li­brary pro­vides new­born ba­bies and their fam­i­lies with a brand new baby book.

“Read­ing should not be pre­sented to chil­dren as a chore or duty. It should be of­fered to them as a pre­cious gift.” — Kate DiCamillo.

Li­brar­i­ans col­lab­o­rate with teach­ers, par­ents and wha¯ nau to help stim­u­late and re­in­force a read­ing cul­ture within the com­mu­nity. It is well recog­nised that chil­dren’s read­ing lev­els can of­ten slip over the sum­mer when they are on hol­i­day. Halt­ing the sum­mer slide can be as sim­ple as en­cour­ag­ing kids to read five books over the sum­mer break.

The li­brary does its part by pro­vid­ing a

free read­ing fo­cused pro­gramme dur­ing the sum­mer hol­i­days. All that is re­quired is to be a mem­ber of the li­brary.

The Sum­mer Read­ing Pro­gramme, The Amaz­ing Read, aims to en­cour­age and pro­mote books, li­braries, and the fun of read­ing to chil­dren through in­cen­tive awards, ac­tiv­i­ties and sto­ry­tellers. All of this is of­fered free of charge from li­braries in the East­ern and Cen­tral re­gion thanks to the fund­ing of the East­ern and Cen­tral Com­mu­nity Trust. Reg­is­tra­tions for the pro­gramme take place from Novem­ber 26. The ac­tual pro­gramme runs from De­cem­ber 10. Pop into your lo­cal li­brary or go on­line for de­tails.

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