StGertrudesSmithfield_News_SchoolLife_ChristmasSpiritSt Gertrude’s Catholic Primary School are actively trying to stop the growing trend of children not reading.

Last Wednesday the Smithfield school hosted their second Reading by Torchlight event to encourage children to ditch the iPhone for a good book.

The event was the culmination of the Winter Reading Challenge and saw almost 200 students and parents attend and spend some quality time reading.

“The other thing is that children don’t have exposure to quality literature and the right books and parents are not spending the time reading to their children.

“What teachers have found is that kids don’t have the ideas when it comes to their writing and this comes from a lack of reading.”

To combat this, each morning a child from each class would select a book from a selective group of texts and it would be read in class.  The children would then record how many minutes they spent reading and it formed part of raffle at the event last week.

Ms Wasson also read to the group the children’s favourite book Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee.

“The kids wore their pyjamas and sat in their library with their torches reading with their parents – it’s something that doesn’t happen a lot these days,” she said.

These days children are not spending the time reading because there are so many other things to do with games and technology. What teachers have found is that kids don’t have the ideas when it comes to their writing.

Literacy co-ordinator Kerrie Wasson

“This is the second time we held the event after we did an Olympic-themed one last year. It is igniting the love of reading in the children.”

In particular the reading challenge has been embraced by the school’s 30 refugee students.

“It has really got the refugee students talking. They come up to me and say how much they love the books and start talking to me about the books which is great,” she said. “Reading is vital for all kids– especially when they are younger.”