Palmerston North City Library has recently completed its twenty-third successful Summer Reading Programme to the delight of more than 500 children.
Funded by Eastern and Central Community Trust, the popular children’s reading programme encourages and supports children to enjoy reading over the summer holidays.
City Library Children’s Programme Coordinator Rhonda Chenery says the incentive-based reading programme has achieved an average completion rate of 90 percent across all programmes over the years it has run.
“Children take part in the programme through the Central Library and community libraries in Ashhurst, Roslyn, Awapuni and Highbury (Te Pātikitiki),” Rhonda says.
“Te Reo is incorporated in the programme, and a multilingual book chat extends and supports those children and families for whom English is not their first language.
“The Summer Reading Programme continues to diversify and support the reading needs of our community, while also providing a precious opportunity for volunteers from our community to share their culture, knowledge and experiences. This year, 97 participants took up 13 different languages options, with Tagalog and Malay chosen for the first time.”
Participants are required to report-in a minimum of four times over the summer to successfully complete the programme. They achieve this by coming in and talking one-on-one with a librarian or volunteer (45 this year) about their reading and they receive an incentive for their efforts each time.
Rhonda says that beyond participation statistics, Summer Reading succeeds in a broader sense, through increasing a child’s communication, creativity and self-esteem, while also encouraging and supporting caregivers’ involvement with their children’s reading at home, and further fostering positive relationships between families, public libraries and librarians.