Help kids learn to love reading


For Myles Ferris, the book that unleashed his love of reading was The Hobbit.

Now the Te Kura Otangarei principal wants his pupils to discover the same joys.

To do so, he needs your help.

The school is looking for volunteers to listen to kids read.

They may even be asked to read to the kids.

It is all part of a Piki Ake (Rise Up) reading programme, which aims to get reading milage under children's belts to help their literacy and vocabulary.

The programme is supported by the Whangarei Report and theNorthern Advocate, which have committed to helping the primary school find volunteers.

The school would like the volunteers to commit to reading to the youngsters, aged 5 to 8, for at least an hour a week for a 10-week school term.

However, Mr Ferris said it would be fantastic if anyone offered to spend even more time at the school - such as an hour a day for four days weekly.

"We want adult volunteers to read to them so the children see the passion books can arouse and recognise reading is fun, with the added benefit of learning while you turn the pages."

All keen readers had a book that had "kicked off" their love of reading, Mr Ferris said.

"For me, it was The Hobbit," he said.

"I'd like all the children to later look back at our Pike Ake programme and recall the book that got them reading for themselves and enjoying it."

Volunteers do not have to live in Otangarei.

They will need to be vetted by police, which Mr Ferris said was a standard online procedure.

Northern Advocate editor Craig Cooper said the Advocate and Whangarei Report would contribute staff to the Pike Ake roster.

"X-Box isn't going to expand a child's mind like reading does," he said.

"Piki Ake is a great idea and an excellent example of a local solution to a local challenge."

People wanting to volunteer should email deputy principal Lou Reed on lou@otangarei.school.nz

An induction day will be held at the school on May 30.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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