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Monday, February 21, 2011

Summer Reading Programme

The finale for this years’ Summer Reading Programme took place at the Masterton Library on Wednesday the 26th of January. Throughout the day hundreds of children came to the library to pick up their prize packs, certificates and goody bags. A bouncy castle, sausage sizzle, face-painting, fancy dress and spot prizes added to the fun, and a great time was had by all.

The theme of this year’s programme ‘The Big Bush Read’ was a celebration of the New Zealand bush (and the wildlife that inhabits it) and a recognition of the need to protect it. The children’s area of the library has been decorated accordingly and looks like it has been transported into the heart of the Tararuas. A corresponding programme, ReadPlus was also offered for older children and teens and this year’s theme was a gothic take on fairy tales, perfect for the ‘Twilight’ generation.

The Summer Reading Programme helps consolidate the reading skills children have developed during the school year, and arrests the decline in reading often seen over the summer period. It also helps them get to know the library and library staff, which in turn will help set them up on a path for life-long learning. And best of all it’s fun to do!

The Summer Reading Programme is offered by all the libraries in the Eastern and Central Region and is made possible through funding provided by the Eastern and Central Community Trust. This is the 14th consecutive year Masterton Library has delivered the programme and once again it has been an incredible success. Spurred on by the encouragement of librarians, parents and caregivers (plus the prospect of being awarded some great prizes) children enrolled in the programme have made a massive effort to read over the summer holidays.

Of the 400 places Masterton had available, 79% completed the programme and received their rewards. Another 55 places were available for children who wanted to do the programme in Te Reo and 74% of these children completed the programme. We had 55 places available on the Read Plus programme and again 74% of these achieved completion. In total children enrolled in the Summer Reading Programme engaged in 1,451 check-ins where they talked to library staff about the books they have been reading.

Congratulations to all the children who completed the Big Bush Read and Read Plus programmes and thank you to all the parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and others who enrolled them and brought them to the library to report in. The efforts you have made in supporting their reading will be of great benefit to your children in the future. Thank you also to the Eastern and Central Community Trust, without who’s sponsorship the programme would not be possible.

Well done also to librarians Mary, Jane, and Frances, and their helpers Pat, Jeremy, Ingrid, and Georgia-Mae for running such a great programme. If you’re interested in future programmes keep an eye out for registration information in November, and don’t forget we also offer the Winter Warmers programme in the middle of the year.

 And after describing the success of the Summer Reading Programme, it seems the opportune time to bid a fond farewell to Children’s Librarian Mary Buckner who has played such a big part in its’ success here at Masterton. Mary has resigned from the library after some 16 years and her enthusiasm and passion for children, books and reading will make her greatly missed by her colleagues, children and their parents. We are all very sad to see Mary go but wish her every success with her exciting new plans.

Mary Buckner on her last day at Masterton District Library
Jon Adams
Community Outreach Librarian
Masterton District Library

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