What your child’s teacher wants you to know about summertime reading

It's important. 


Because research (and the experience of countless teachers) has shown that literacy levels amongst children drop over the holiday period in what is sometimes called "the summer slide". The National Library of New Zealand has a great backgrounder on the summer slide and summer reading.

If kids are encouraged and given opportunities to read during school holidays they can keep their literacy skills up and not slide backwards, and avoid having to spend precious time "re-learning" those skills when they go back to school in the new year.

Being able to read well is an important skill and it's one that can be fostered by focusing on reading as an enjoyable activity rather than as a skill that has to be mastered.

Research has shown there are numerous benefits in reading for pleasure including:

  • Improved vocabulary
  • Improved spelling & grammar
  • Increased reading & comprehension speed
  • Better academic achievement 
  • Increased empathy
  • Increased community/civic involvement
  • Better mental health and wellbeing… 

(Clark & Rumbold, 2006; McNaughton, 2020; NEA, 2008)  

How can you stop your child's reading skills from slipping backwards?

Our summertime reading programme runs right over the December-January season and presents lots of options for kids to engage with books, reading and libraries.

  • Talk to your child about what kind of books they enjoy the most (Graphic novels and comics count!) This is an excellent opportunity to get to know their tastes and preferences. 
  • With these preferences in mind take a trip to the library and see if you can find some great titles (our library staff are happy to help with this or try some of our holiday reading recommendations for kids)
  • Read together (either you reading to them, them reading to you, or both taking some quiet time to read your own books together)
  • Attend summertime reading events happening at libraries and other fun locations around the city

A big part of fostering a love of reading is about access to interesting, engaging books that are appropriate to the child's tastes and reading level however there's also making reading a part of family life - talk about books, stories and favourite authors; visit libraries and bookshops; incorporate reading as a fun leisure activity for the whole family.

Your local library is a treasure trove of reading material for kids of all ages, and the site of engaging, book-focused events this summer.

Let's keep those kids reading!

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