A BATHURST university lecturer who has witnessed the challenges faced by students who enter higher education with poor literacy skills has published a book she hopes will help address the issue by encouraging reading at a young age.
I try to write books that capture the imagination.Author Lisa Limbrick
Charles Sturt University’s Dr Lisa Limbrick believes kids should grow up having fun with reading and hopes her book, Tom Topp and the Great Adventure Swap will do that just that.
“Students may have tremendous subject knowledge but if they can’t master the demands of writing and reading they will definitely struggle,” Lisa said.
Good reading practices are also essential in high school as well as university.
“Students may have the knowledge to answer an assessment task but if they don’t have the literacy skills necessary to present an argument in essay form, or to write an academic report, this could all go to waste. It is a serious issue,” she said.
“We could be missing out on some of the great nurses, teachers, or paramedics the community will need in coming years.”
The Education Faculty associate lecturer is passionate in her belief that good reading habits underpin strong literacy and learning skills.
“In Australia, up to 20 per cent of children can struggle with reading, and recent NAPLAN results also underline the poor literacy skills that exist, particularly in regional areas,” Lisa said.
“While effective instruction is critical to raising literacy standards, the motivation to read is also important. And nothing motivates a child more than humour!”
Lisa, who enjoys volunteering with organisations such as 3rd Bathurst Scouts, recently returned from Fiji where she was involved in distributing shoeboxes of gifts to needy children as part of Operation Christmas Child.
Tom Topp and the Great Adventure Swap is an early chapter book for children aged eight-plus and is full of comedy, quirks and unexpected events.
The book’s themes will also appeal to parents. “The book is light-hearted and fun, but at the same time focuses on friendship, forgiveness and the fact that things don’t always turn out the way you’d like . . . and that’s okay!”
So - what do flying prawns, an inflatable dolphin and a cheese volcano have in common? “Well, if you’re curious, hopefully kids also will be,” Lisa said.