Book Week Nurtures a Love of Reading
Book Week sees Haileybury Rendall School come alive with the characters of our favourite authors. Run by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Book Week enables schools, libraries, booksellers, authors, illustrators and young people to celebrate Australian children's literature.
This year’s theme was "Reading is My Secret Power", providing an opportunity for students to get lost in a world of literature.
It is an exciting time for us. At Haileybury Rendall School, our Library staff organise many activities and younger students love dressing up as their favourite book character for much-anticipated parades.
In the classroom we teach the various components of reading – phonemic awareness (refers to the specific ability to focus on and manipulate individual sounds), phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
Everything we incorporate aims to foster a lifetime love for reading.
Inspiring Young Readers
Book Week is more important than ever in the information age. While many adults take the skill of reading for granted, decoding the mystery of language is not an innate art.
Children work tirelessly from a young age to ‘crack the code’ of the English language. They must then learn to comprehend story lines, relate to characters and understand that information that authors omit is as relevant as details they include.
Appreciating the escape from reality that reading grants us is a vital gift that we must give our children, especially in today’s technology-driven world where instant gratification dominates.
For decades, university studies have told us what we all intuitively knew—that immersion in literature provides countless benefits for children as readers and thinkers.
In the early years, their brains are still developing. Exposure to language, and reading in particular, helps in forming vital connections in the brain for future learning. Repetition is the key to early reading and parents can nurture this by sharing quality language experiences and mirroring a love for literature.
Being read to is as crucial as being listened to, so build both into your nightly reading routine. Role modelling by a variety of adults is also important and daily reading should become a habit rather than a monotonous chore.
The Benefits of Reading
Reading has many benefits beyond cognitive stimulation. It is the gateway to knowledge, develops creative and analytic thinking and sparks curiosity.
If they don’t crave facts, children can be transported into fantastical realms of fiction. Characters can become relatable friends as they experience similar successes and failures in life.
Stories act as catalysts to broach difficult and challenging times in the most unobtrusive ways. Children begin to discuss plots and complications and how they could solve similar real-world problems.
It is from these reading ‘hooks’ that children can derive genuine satisfaction from fiction and non-fiction. Some young children see the art of reading as overwhelming, but small, progressive successes can turn this process into a labour of love. It should be viewed as daily exercise for the brain and as we know, the more we commit to the practice, the better we become.
Proficient and confident reading has endless academic, social and emotional benefits. We all need this lifelong skill, regardless of how young or old we are.
Our 2019 Character Parade was a wonderful conclusion to the week’s activities in celebration for all things ‘reading’.
A special thank you to all families who donated a book to our boarding students and to Ms Melissa Schultz for once again dedicating her time to ensuring students had an opportunity to purchase novels at the book sale. Her efforts and enthusiasm are acknowledged and appreciated.