Never too young to enjoy reading and our libraries
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.