The NZ Herald has an amazing article linking The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, New Zealand reading deficiencies and Warkworth's “Rugged Learning Adventures Camp."
The newspaper reports:
Massey academics also say our system's much vaunted Reading Recovery programme is flawed and outdated. Apparently, in some cases, it does more harm than good, as some kids who fail to grasp this remedial method end up believing that they have failed their last chance.
At Aorere College, we removed Reading Recovery in favour of Reciprocal Reading with early results promising in terms of raising Year 9 and 10 student literacy and doing so in a collaborative learning environment that also builds in inquiry skills.
The author Paul Chapman goes on:
My ideas on this have informed by a friendship with a renowned Northland literacy activist, the late Graham Crawshaw.
The dynamic Dargaville farmer put his energy and money into creating rustic "phonics farm" campsites at Arapohue, near Dargaville, and Windy Ridge - near Warkworth.
The latter got going again this week following a few years of inactivity.
Graham and his wife Joan organised more than 60 reading camps over a 20-year-period, achieving astonishingly results with children unable to acquire literacy in the school system.
Graham died in 2012, but what a massive dent he made New Zealand's literacy problem.
Aside from the literacy camps, he campaigned in the media and at Parliamentary Select Committee level.
Always his call was to restore a deeper and more comprehensive use of phonics instruction in schools.
He tested the reading levels of men being processed by the courts and found them to be woeful.
His Windy Ridge Camp was a favourite with men on Periodic Detention.
It's obvious to anyone that the more literate and numerate one is, the more likely they are to be effective, contributors to society and less prone to dangerous and/or criminal behaviour. What an awesome idea, reading camps in the bush no less. I'd be up for this. At the very least, it would show those individuals involved that learning can happen anywhere, anytime and would no doubt prove a pretty cool classroom for other learning undertakings. My parents taught me via phonics despite it not being the fashion compared to sight reading. In my opinion, this style of learning did much to instill in me a confidence and ability to read quickly and effectively. Having read a fair bit about phonics learning, it seems to also have enabled me to work out words that I had not previously encountered. The danger with sight reading is that the reader often learns distinct words and can then arguably struggle with thinking and adapting their reading to new contexts.