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Reading is not a natural accomplishment - it must be learned. It follows it must be taught. Parents are not born teachers of reading. If they cannot read adequately themselves they are not likely to teach their children, so many children are likely to learn to read at school.
To do that they need to attend school regularly - and preferably just one school. In addition, they need to have a health standard adequate to see, hear, speak and relate to others.
At least today most schools have a good supply of suitable books and reading material.
Schools need to have a well-planned, modern reading programme and teachers adequately trained to carry it out.
It is where parents are struggling, children are changing schools and teachers come and go that the worst reading problems arise.
However, with community support for parents and schools which practise early intervention most youngsters can become literate.
What is needed is more support and less criticism. The Government can help but we are the community - they are all our children.
- © Fairfax NZ News