Waitara Library's weekly reading time 'rewarding'

17:00, Apr 08 2014
waitara library
BABY BOOKWORMS: Rosemary Reeve, co-ordinator of the Waitara Crackerjacks, has a captive audience of youngsters at Waitara Library. Reeve says the story-time-style readings are an effective way to get young children into books and to display genuine engagement.

Waitara Library has re-established the children's reading initiative Crackerjacks after a short break.

Designed to get preschoolers interested in books, programmes similar to Crackerjacks have been held at Puke Ariki and all of the New Plymouth district libraries for more than 10 years.

While other outlying libraries hold sessions on a monthly basis, Waitara Library runs Crackerjacks every Wednesday at 10am during the school term.

Customer support officer and co-ordinator of the Waitara Crackerjacks programme, Rosemary Reeve, said the story-time-style readings were an effective way to get young children into books and to display genuine engagement.

"You'll see children come along to their first session and have trouble sitting and listening to a story for an extended length of time, and within a couple of weeks they quickly learn to sit down, listen and become interested," said Reeve who has conducted Crackerjacks at other libraries.

"It's also rewarding having parents and caregivers come up to you at the end of the session saying ‘thanks, that was great' and then returning for the next workshop, you know you've done a reasonable job."

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Each workshop revolves around a theme, and last week's theme at Waitara was based on books that had just come into the library, such as Sing-along Mermaid and Kaha the Kea.

"My favourite part of today was Kaha the Kea," Bell Block preschooler Emily Hagan said.

Waitara Library holds 30-minute Crackerjacks sessions every Wednesday at 10am during the school term. It is free and no booking is required.

James MacLeod is a Witt journalism student.

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