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Keep reading over the summer break

Debbie Tipuna sits with Nahyun Cho.

Kids and teens throughout Tauranga are enjoying a long break from school, but parents fearing their children returning to school with a lower reading level need not worry, thanks to Tauranga City Libraries.

After 16 successful years, their free reading programme 'Kia Kaha Te Panui' underwent a makeover last summer, expanding in scope and accessibility to become something new.

Widening to include craft activities, competitions and unlimited spaces, the programme saw almost 1500 booklets taken over six weeks.

Families loved that younger siblings could also join in with fun activities at the libraries, while school-aged children aged five to ten were motivated to read to earn stickers, prizes and an invite to the legendary finale party at Memorial Park. During the programme, participants visit the library and share their reading experiences with the friendly staff.

“We often find that children can be shy the first time they visit us for a chat, but by the third visit they eagerly tell us all about their books and how their holiday is going,” says children and teens’ programme specialist Lauren Jones.

“It’s a great way to get to know our library users and for them to get comfortable in a library environment.”

Teens don’t miss out: 'Kia Kaha Te Panui' – Teen Reads is designed for ages 11-18 and ends with a ‘teens only’ pizza party.

This year’s jam-packed activity booklets are available now at all Tauranga City Libraries, with participants having until Sunday, January 24, to complete the programme. More information can be found at: www.library.tauranga.govt.nz

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