Why Fathers should encourage their kids to read

books_blue_photography_pink_abstract_hd-wallpaper-1879901COMET Auckland manager for literacy and family learning Alison Sutton spoke to Stuff.co.nz about the gender gap in literacy and oracy, and how we can help combat it this Father’s Day and Tuesday’s International Literacy Day.

In Auckland primary schools, 81% girls are reading at or above the standard level for their age, compared to 72.6% of boys who are reading at the same level.

These figures are significantly lower down in South Auckland areas captured by Auckland Council’s The Southern Initiative programme, with only 58.9% of boys reading at or above the standard for their age.

“Those figures are really worrying, because the gaps in literacy between girls and boys widen as young people go through their education journey,” said Alison.

As these boys grow into adulthood, this can result in a lack of the basic literacy skills needed for adults to do their jobs, said Alison, and can have a negative impact on their children’s reading.

“We need to build the literacy levels of parents and caregivers so that our young people can get the best start in school, and adults can thrive in their work,” she said.

There’s a call for an increased focus on literacy for boys and men across the country, so in keeping with the Father’s Day and International Literacy Day theme, COMET Auckland is encouraging fathers and father-figures to spend more time talking, reading and singing with their kids.

If you’re interested in reading the full article click here, or if you want to know more about oracy programme Talking Matters, click here.


Let’s give our children a great start – enrol them for school now

It’s school enrolment time again. Being enrolled and starting school from Day One is crucial for giving our young people the best start.

Every year hundreds of students turn up to schools without being enrolled first. Tell everyone you know that their child will have a better start to the year if they are enrolled in advance and present on Day One.

Why is it so important to start school on time?

  • Great schools get their students working from Day One
  • Kids who miss out the first few days often miss out on bonding activities, group formation, and important learning
  • From the school’s perspective, planning the academic year is a hard task so having a view of the number of kids enrolled means better resources, timetables and creates a well-organised environment
  • If there are particular subjects your child wants to enrol in, they need to get in quick to avoid classes being full
  • If you know your children won’t be able to attend school from Day One, at least let the school know so they can hold the place for your child and are ready to make them part of the class when they do start.  

Tips for getting enrolled in time:

  • Every school has a different enrolment date so make sure you have called the school or checked the website for enrolment and school start dates
  • Contact your school if you are concerned about the costs involved with getting your child fully equipped for school as they can often help.