Summer Reading Programmes
Research shows that literacy levels in children can drop over the summer break. This can have long-lasting effects on future educational outcomes such as NCEA results. Halting the summer slide (the slump in reading and learning levels in children over the summer break) can be as simple as encouraging kids to read five books during summer.
Libraries are providing a space for young people to stay engaged with reading over summer. Summer reading programmes are being rolled out across the country in a bid to reverse the summer slide.
On the left is a map listing New Zealand's summer reading programmes. Click a pin to find out about a programme near you.
View Summer Reading Programmes in New Zealand in a full screen map
Why summer reading is important:
The summer slide can have lasting effects on educational outcomes. This dip in literacy can set kids back by one month on average and can have long-lasting effects, affecting future educational outcomes such as NCEA, and ultimately their job prospects.
“Low literacy levels can trap kids in a cycle of poor health, limited employment opportunities and reduced income levels. This often continues as their children in turn lack access to reading materials” according to Tim Antric, Director of Public Libraries of New Zealand.
The World Literacy Foundation estimates that in 2012 the economic and social costs to New Zealand were $3 billion.
The solution is simple:
Halting the summer slide can be as simple as encouraging kids to read five books over the summer break. Libraries up and down New Zealand are rolling out summer reading programmes in a bid to reverse the summer slide, and provide continued access to books while children are away from school.
Kids that read over summer do better in school, and it doesn’t take much. Reading just five books over summer can make all the difference.
How to keep kids reading:
Many public libraries run reading programmes over the summer. For those that don’t yet, here's some ideas to get your library's summer reading programme started:
- The Reading Bag.
A simple lucky dip bag of five books for children and young people of different ages (and make sure it’s the first books in a series, not the last).
Spin the Wheel.
Brings the element of chance to summer reading (read a book about dinosaurs, read a graphic novel, read a book by someone whose name starts with M…)
Hold dress up days in the library and use these as a way to promote reading (book characters, dads and lads…)
Take a photo of yourself reading in a random place and be in to win.
The Summer Challenge.
Set up 5 challenges for students to complete over the holidays.
The Reading Gauge.
How many children’s books can your customers read over summer?
Prizes don’t have to be external, why not offer DVD rentals or other library prizes (or maybe your Council will offer free entries to the local swimming pool).
Remember it’s often harder for children and young people to get into the library over summer – so consider extending your loan period to cover the holidays.
For more information on the summer slide, and how parents, schools and public libraries can make a difference, visit the National Library's website.