Kids show read­ing skills

Teach­ing lit­tle ones about safety on the road

The Northland Age - - Local Life/opinion - By Peter de Graaf

Which Span­ish knight thought wind­mills were his en­emy? What spe­cial power do the Jedi use, and who had a round ta­ble so his knights wouldn’t fight?

Those and many other ques­tions were put to North­land’s keen­est young read­ers in the re­gional heat of the 2018 Kids’ Lit Quiz at Kerik­eri Pri­mary School last week. More than 25 teams took part, each with four mem­bers aged 10 to 13, from Man­gawhai Beach School in the south to Kaitaia In­ter­me­di­ate in the north.

Quizmaster Wayne Mills said the key to win­ning was sim­ple — all the kids had to do was read ev­ery­thing writ­ten for chil­dren and young adults over the past 200 years.

In the end the $1000 prize for North­land’s most knowl­edge­able read­ers went to a Kamo In­ter­me­di­ate, just one point ahead of Mata­rau School with Kerik­eri High School third.

The champs will now repre­fi­nals sent North­land at the na­tional in Welling­ton in June, and the win­ners there will com­pete against nine other coun­tries in the world fi­nals in Auck­land in July.

Wayne Mills founded the Kids’ Lit Quiz in New Zealand 27 years ago, since when it has gone global, with more than 8000 chil­dren tak­ing part each year. The ques­tions are drawn from ev­ery­thing from clas­sic chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture to the lat­est best sellers. Pre-school teach­ers around the coun­try are be­ing urged to take part in the first na­tional Beep Beep! Day on May 9, and to make road safety les­sons a reg­u­lar part of their cur­ric­ula.

The road safety char­ity Brake is be­hind the cam­paign, sup­ported by Thrifty Car Rental, to teach chil­dren road safety ba­sics and re­mind par­ents and driv­ers of their re­spon­si­bil­ity to help pro­tect chil­dren when driv­ing.

Brake says ev­ery week, on av­er­age, seven chil­dren un­der the age of 10 are in­jured on New Zealand roads, and Beep Beep! Day is de­signed to re­duce that statis­tic.

Any­one work­ing with chil­dren aged two to seven can stage a Beep Beep! Day on May 9 or any other day of their choice, which would in­volve creative, ed­u­ca­tional ac­tiv­i­ties us­ing guid­ance and re­sources from Brake, such as cre­at­ing a poster of hand prints to re­mind chil­dren and par­ents to hold hands, play­ing the ‘belt up’ game to learn about child seats, singing road safety songs and bak­ing traf­fic light bis­cuits.

Those ac­tiv­i­ties would teach young chil­dren the road safety ba­sics, and en­cour­age par­ents to con­sider the steps they needed to take to keep their chil­dren safe, while chil­dren could also raise funds in sup­port of Brake’s cam­paign­ing for safer roads and sup­port­ing be­reaved and in­jured crash vic­tims.

The na­tional day in May would link to this year’s Road Safety Week theme by fo­cus­ing on the im­por­tance of us­ing ap­pro­pri­ate child seats for all chil­dren un­der 148cm, and re­mind­ing par­ents and the com­mu­nity to look out for young chil­dren when on the road.

Early child­hood cen­tres, pri­mary schools and child min­ders would re­ceive a free ac­tion pack of re­sources, and could or­der an op­tional hard copy re­source pack, by reg­is­ter­ing at www.brake.org.nz/ beep­beep­day, phon­ing (021) 407-953 or email­ing [email protected]

PIC­TURE / PETER DE GRAAF

I KNOW: Year 8 Ahipara School pupil Jes­sica McCarthny has the an­swer.

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED

AND DEPUTIES: The deputy head stu­dents are Conor Bolton, Jack­son Haynes, Je­nay Maihi and Claire Gra­ham.

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED

NEVER TOO SOON: Early child­hood cen­tres are be­ing urged to add road safety to their cur­ric­ula.

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