From street signs and symbols to books and magazines - students from Blomfield Special School have been reading as much as they can for the school's first-ever readathon.

Teacher Edward Jones, who is head of the Whangārei school's literacy group, said the group wanted to push literacy so they decided to hold a readathon - one week where students are encouraged to read as much as they can, with prizes up for grabs.

"We wanted to tap into the students potential as well. Because if we can really focus for a week, there might be something students surprise us with," Jones said.

"I've got a student in my class who doesn't pay that much attention to things such as this, but this week as we've been better, he's been better because we're actually pushing it."

Advertisement
Blomfield Special School teacher Pia Marty reads The Jigaree with help from student Samuel Wilcox. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Blomfield Special School teacher Pia Marty reads The Jigaree with help from student Samuel Wilcox. Photo / Michael Cunningham

As part of the readathon, students have to fill out a log of what they have read.

At then end of the week there will be separate assemblies for junior and senior students where prizes will be handed out.

Jones said because the students are very diverse, with ages ranging from 5 to 21, their abilities were very different.

"Reading is very much on what would engage them. It could be books, we also make our own books in class which are quite simple to read with a lot of pictures, but we also encourage things like there's a lot of symbols.

"Some of our students have communication impairments so we have our daily schedule [with symbols] and that counts as reading," he said.

Edward Jones, Blomfield Special School teacher and head of the literacy group, said the readathon is a way to push literacy in the school. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Edward Jones, Blomfield Special School teacher and head of the literacy group, said the readathon is a way to push literacy in the school. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Jones said although they were only on their third day of the readathon on Wednesday, it had been going "really good".

"A lot of teachers have been feeding back how well the students are doing. One teacher came back and said some of her students had read 30 books, which is incredible.

"Obviously there are incentives of prizes but as we're keen as staff - the teachers and the teacher aides - we're pushing it quite a lot and that encourages students as well."

Advertisement

Jones said staff are hoping to make the readathon an annual event.