News, Events and Culture

Summer Reading Programme embraces cultural diversity

Tuesday October 31 2017

Summer means holidays and for generations of children, it also means the Summer Reading Programme. When schools are closed, youngsters can read books they choose, reap rewards, and also ensure their reading progress doesn't drop off.

Photo shows child reading a book in the shade of a tree.

One of summer's greatest pleasures.

Palmerston North City Library has responded to the city's increasing diversity by introducing more multilingual reporting options for the programme following last year's successful pilot. This year children can participate in Mandarin, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Thai and Korean as well as Te Reo. This allows them to share their learning experiences in a language with which they identify, in an environment that supports families and readers of all abilities.

The Te Reo Summer Reading Programme encourages tamariki to read books in Te Reo. Tikanga is integrated into the programme and sessions are opened and closed with karakia. With a strong family focus, the Tuakana and Teina system is used which encourages older siblings to help younger siblings with their reading.

"The Te Reo Summer Reading Programme is aimed at our tamariki and mokopuna who have Te Reo as a language," says Nuwyne Te Awe Awe Mohi, PNCC Maori Community Liaison Coordinator. "We use the Tuakana/Teina approach to reading and really encourage whānau to come in and participate."

The Summer Reading Programme attracts close to 600 enthusiastic local children every year. Parents and grandparents are now sharing the same programme with the next generation as this is its 21st year. Over the school holidays, children report in four times. At each reporting session, they share with their librarian what they have read, answer questions and receive a milestone reward.

"Reading is one of the most powerful tools for creating lifelong learners. Visiting the library helps foster these skills, as well as developing connections with librarians and the wider community," says Rhonda Chenery, Libraries and Community Services Children's Programmes Coordinator.

The programme, funded through the Eastern and Central Community Trust, officially kicks off on Monday 27 November and finishes with a finale on Thursday 18 January.

The popularity of the programme means children must register for a ballot for one of just under 600 places available across all the community and central libraries. Applicants are notified if they are successfully placed. Registrations to participate opened Monday 30 October and close Sunday 12 November. Details of the ballot can be found on the Palmerston North City Library website.

Key dates:

  • Ballot period: Monday 30 October to Sunday 12 November
  • Programme starts: Monday 27 November