Reading has its rewards

21:50, Dec 16 2012
Hayden Scott-Chambers
Hayden Scott-Chambers, 16, is ready for the Summer Reading Challenge at the Invercargill Library.

School is finished for the year for most students but Invercargill Library staff hope children keep reading during the holidays – and they are offering prize incentives to make it happen.

The library's annual Summer Reading Challenge is back for the holidays, and staff are handing out a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and a Sony eReader as top prizes.

Despite the glitzy prizes, the emphasis of the challenge was not on winning, outreach librarian Kirsty Graham said.

''The whole point is to show kids that reading can be a form of entertainment as well.''

The challenge was also a way to sustain the literacy skills children acquired in school during the lengthy summer break.

''Kids are off school for such a long period of time - they are reading solidly all through the year and then they're not reading for three months.''

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The contest was designed to combat this brain drain, and was open to children and young adults aged 5 right through to 20.

Senior participants were required to write book reviews of what they read to tally up points, while junior readers had to read for 20 minutes every day for 20 days to win a prize.

A record 700 young readers had signed up for the contest so far.

''We've opened it up this year and we're expecting it just to explode,'' Ms Graham said.

Interested readers can sign up for the challenge at the library until the end of this month.

A wrap party for the senior participants, featuring an inspirational guest speaker and a prize-giving ceremony, will be held next month.

The Southland Times