Hutt at Heart

The Big Read returns this summer!

Hutt City Libraries’ FREE summer challenges are back again from 1 December.

The eagerly anticipated reading programme has kicked-off, aiming to encourage tamariki across Te Awa Kairangi (Lower Hutt) to keep reading over summer, engage with friends and whānau, and go in the draw to win great prizes.

Last year more than 1300 tamariki signed up to The Big Read with over 300 completing the highest level, Pounamu.

In the last 5 years almost 35,000 books have been read and more than 8000 activities completed as part of the challenge.

Research in New Zealand and internationally shows that reading levels often slip back over long breaks from school such as the summer holidays. The Big Read is designed to support tamariki to maintain their reading levels over summer (or even excel).

“I’m not sure who enjoys The Big Read more – us or the participants! I love chatting with the tamariki about what they’ve been reading and the activities they’ve been up to!” says Hutt City Libraries Children & Teens Librarian, Jay Shulamith.

Eleanor Big Read
Eleanor painted a rock and put it underneath a sign on the Puriri Track in Wainuiomata as one of her Big Read tasks in a previous year.

Lillian Pak, Programme Development Manager, adds that, “in most recent PIRLs international study, Kiwi children’s reading levels fell below all other English-speaking countries. We need them to love reading again, especially since reading affects all aspect of life. We’re excited our local organisations and businesses understand this and generously support our goal of improving literacy across our city.”

Neko Ngeru Café is a sponsor this year, and co-owner Richelle says, “I support The Big Read because books are really important to me. Stories give me companionship when I am alone, help me understand the people in my life and enable me to make new friends more easily. I enjoy reading about the world and local events from as many diverse perspectives as I can. Being able to read empowers and I hope that others will have the same joy and power in their lives through reading.”

Hut City Libraries and Neko Ngeru Café are also partnering to run a special storytime at the cafe in January.

How it works:

Children receive a Big Read journal to record their reading and activities to progress through four levels. They visit the library and talk to staff after each level to enter the prize draw.

Our littlest library members can also take part in The Little Read for under-5s, and kids can challenge their parents and whānau with ‘Explore. Read. Relax’ for teens and adults.

Our fabulous prizes include exciting experiences and books from:
Atrium Café, The Cuba Press, Cupcake Sweeties, The Dowse Art Museum, Gecko Press, HangDog Indoor Climbing Centre, Mayor Campbell Barry, Hutt City Pools, LightHouse Cinema Petone, Mākaro Press, Neko Ngeru Cat Café, Queensgate Shopping Centre, Schrödinger’s Books, Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Café, & Zealandia.

You can sign-up and join in at any Hutt City Library. Summer challenges run until 31 January.

For more information see Hutt City Libraries or ask at your local library.

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