Summer reading fun returns to Tauranga libraries

3 December 2021


While the joy of reading a good book might be reward enough, Tauranga City Libraries’ summer reading programme is back for the summer holidays, offering books, pool vouchers and spot prizes for the city’s young readers.

Kia Kaha Te Pānui is a free summer reading programme for children and teens aged five to 18 years. The programme has been running for more than 20 years in various formats, with between 800 and 1500 children taking part each year.

Children are encouraged to read books from home or the library and then come into one of Tauranga’s five libraries to check in and tell the librarians about the book they have read.

“The check-in isn’t a test - we just love to hear about the stories the children have been reading, the characters they like or loathe and the pictures that make them smile,” said Debbie Tipuna, Tauranga City Libraries’ Children and Teens’ Programme Specialist.

Debbie said not only will Kia Kaha Te Pānui keep the kids entertained over the school holidays, 15 minutes of reading each day will also help to maintain, or even improve, their reading levels, ready for their return to school in February.

“Parents have told us that aside from maintaining reading levels, some children become more confident through the process of telling a friendly librarian about the books they have enjoyed.”

Feedback from previous years has been positive, said Debbie.

“One lady told us her daughter went up two reading levels over the holidays and another told us how much she loved spending special time reading together with her granddaughter.”

Because some children often need a little push to read, Kia Kaha Te Pānui rewards children who share their reading with incentives.

Every child who completes their first check-in receives a Bay Venues pools voucher and subsequent check-ins put them in a variety of draws for spot prizes, including Prezzy cards, toys, games and sports gear. All children who complete the reading challenge receive a book and a certificate for their efforts.

Teens won’t miss out either. Kia Kaha Te Pānui – Teen Reads is designed specifically for 11 to 18-year-olds and includes a wide range of incentives to keep them reading too, including a $20 Whitcoulls voucher for every teen that completes the programme, as well as spot prizes.

Alongside Kia Kaha Te Pānui, Tauranga City Libraries deliver free, crafty activities across four libraries on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the occasional Saturday. Check out the Tauranga City Libraries website for dates and times. If COVID-19 restrictions don’t allow for in-library group events, the same activities will be offered in take-home bags so you can still get crafty.

Kia Kaha Te Pānui runs from 13 December 2021 until 24 January 2022. Head along to your nearest library to grab your programme booklet from 13 December.

Photo caption: Check out Tauranga City Libraries’ summer reading programme Kia Kaha Te Pānui and join Manager Joanna Thomas in knowing the joy of reading a good book.