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Promoting literacy, one child at a time

15 March 2006

Promoting literacy, one child at a time

Playcentre Promoting Early Literacy Playcentres across New Zealand are excited to be gearing up for a week promoting Playcentre‹with a difference. This year's Playcentre Awareness Week, 19 ­ 25 March 2006, is being run in co-operation with LIANZA, the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa. Our theme is the promotion of early literacy and the many ways it can be done.

Events will be happening in libraries such as story-tellings, celebrity and local dignitary read-ins and puppet shows. Bookmarks and wristbands will be sold to raise centre funds and donations for community public libraries and local book buses, while displays and promotions will highlight the many ways in which pre-literacy (the skills needed before reading can be taught) can be developed.

Literacy (and pre-literacy don't just happen in libraries, however. Our Playcentres are expert at providing environments in which early literacy flourishes.

"Parents are often surprised to find that many of the things we do naturally at Playcentre: reading to our children, singing songs and chanting nursery rhymes, playing make-believe and telling stories to our children, all help to prepare them for learning to read later on," noted Fiona Perkinson, president of Waterloo Playcentre in Lower Hutt. "Playcentres are full of activities that help children figure out how language works. That gives them the tools for literacy later on."

Playcentres are also print-rich environments for early learners. Our centres have posters, books, instructions, and are full of examples of writing. Mrs Perkinson adds, "Discussing even simple things, like the picture cards we use to explain how to do baking, and why we write their name on their artwork (or help them write it if they're older), help them see the possibilities ahead of them."

2003-2012 is the United Nations Literacy decade ­

Education for All.

Playcentre recognises the importance of education for all ­ as for nearly 60 years we have been supporting thousands of children aged 0 ­ 6 years and developing education for the whole whanau, Œgrowing' healthy communities with our programmes reflecting our strength in early (or pre) literacy.

ENDS

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