Opening a new chapter on reading in CQ schools
IN a time of iPads and tablets, Parkhurst State School is going back to basics and bringing back that timeless favourite pastime - reading.
As part of a statewide initiative, the Ready Reading programme has kicked off at a number of Central Queensland schools with the focus on regular reading programs for young students.
Six-year-old Colby Reindl has developed a love for books, and in particular, enjoys ones that make him laugh.
"I like the pictures,” he said.
Colby reads with volunteers at school four days a week for two hours a day.
He also reads at home with his parents and enjoys the experience of discovering new books and characters.
Volunteer, Amy Shepherd, began reading with the Year One grade in term two and has already seen major improvements in the reading abilities of many of the students.
"The programme caters for all ages at the school and you can differentiate and bring it down for children who are struggling or bring it up again to their level,” Ms Shepherd said.
"It's a good programme... and the children enjoy it because it's related to monsters and they learn the monsters and then put those monsters into their sounds and form the words.
"We go through sight words with the children and we do a whole book at their level and make words using the monsters or the sounds.
"You'll always get one or two students that take a little time to get into it, but if you come up with a game with the sight words, they got involved pretty quick when you think of something fun.”
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said she herself has read to her daughter, Odette, since birth and said the experience of story time was priceless.
"It has so many benefits when it comes to education, their life, mental health and their health generally,” Mrs Lauga said.
"We know people that read through life are more likely to live longer than their counterparts who don't.
"There are countless benefits of reading and encouraging young people from an early age.
"It's as simple as picking up a book and having some great time with your children at home, reading stories, sharing stories and telling stories.”
Mrs Lauga said the State Government has committed to investing $1.6 million over three years to regenerate the programme into Queensland schools.
"We're calling on 3000 volunteers across Australia to register with Volunteering Queensland, do the training and come into Queensland schools and teach students about reading,” she said.
"It's about encouraging children to develop a love for learning at an early age so they carry that with them through life.
"Parkhurst State School has been doing a fantastic job with the Ready Reading programme.
"We're encouraging all schools and everyone in the community to get on board... it's not just something here at Parkhurst but all schools across Central Queensland.”