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Ready for Reading


Ready for Reading

The Christchurch City Libraries are launching a programme which hopes to lay the foundation for a life-time love of reading in four year olds.

Since 1990 the Libraries have been running the Books for Babies programme which offers newborns a black and white picture book, a leaflet explaining why it's important to share stories with babies, and a list of the libraries in Christchurch.

This programme has been highly successful and has inspired the Libraries to use the concept to reach out to children turning four and their parents and caregivers.

On June 16th at Linwood Library the Ready for Reading pilot will be launched. For the next two years, when a child turns four they can come into any Christchurch City Library and pick up a Ready for Reading pack. The pack contains a purpose written book ‘Right on Time’, a jigsaw, a birthday card, and a pamphlet with tips on how parents can help their child get ready for reading.

The book, ‘Right on Time’, was written by local author Bill Nagelkerke, and librarians Louise Easter and Annette Williams, and beautifully illustrated by local artist Jenny Cooper.

The packs have been created with the generous support of the Friends of the Library, Spectrum Print and Eastgate Mall, along with the Christchurch City Council.

Central Childrens Librarian, Louise Easter, says they expect to give away around 5000 packs over each year of the two year pilot.

“We’d love every child to arrive at school with pre-reading skills in place. We don’t expect children to be reading, but to be aware of the alphabet, the role of the printed word, and the phonetic sounds. So they are aware of the connection between the spoken words and the written word on the page.”

Ms Easter says the programme is about developing the partnership between parents, caregivers and libraries to develop the foundation of literacy.

Ready for Reading group sessions at the libraries will be held also, with dates to be confirmed.


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