The Reading Ambassador, announced at a crowded Celebration of Reading event at the National Library in Wellington, will advocate for and promote the importance of reading in the lives of young New Zealanders, their whānau and communities, helping create a ‘nation of readers’.
“We know from research that reading for pleasure makes a huge difference to a child’s wellbeing and their potential for life-long success – in personal relationships, education, health and employment,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“The most recent OECD Programme for International Students assessment (PISA) results also show a marked decline in reading for pleasure, with nearly half of New Zealand 15-year-olds never reading for enjoyment.
The establishment of the New Zealand Reading Ambassador for children and young people is another step to creating a ‘nation of readers’, something that is widely agreed as important across the literary, education, library and cultural sectors, Tracey Martin said.
Minister Martin acknowledged the great display of New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults finalist books and the importance for New Zealand kids to see the value of NZ books and writing.
“Just as importantly, though, it simply promotes reading and we all know what a difference the right book can make in the life of a child or young person,” Tracey Martin said.
The inaugural NZ Reading Ambassador will be appointed part time for two years, funded by Te Puna Foundation and supported by National Library in collaboration with key partners, including Creative NZ and ReadNZ. The nomination process will be confirmed shortly.