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Reading is FUNdamental!

Reading is FUNdamental!

Reading for pleasure is now part of the curriculum and we are right behind encouraging our school community to pick up a book and go on an adventure.

Alan Dingley Te Awhi Rito/NZ Reading Ambassador engaged with the whole Year 7 cohort on Friday 15th of March to excite our learners to pick up a book and they loved it! There were loads of high fives for Alan after his hour-long interactive chat about how to choose a good book, what books he loves and why reading is so awesome.

Alan explained how readers have a choice of what they read and how great the freedom to choose a book is. He talked about Graphic novels and how they were valuable reading as they contain more complex words (because they have less space). Alan also talked about how he felt reading was a mirror or a doorway. By seeing yourself in the characters or by the story taking you all over the world or into different worlds.

A big message of the day for all of us was about reading role models and how if we didn't have one, we could be one. It made everyone think about making the time to pick up a book.

The school library has 40 new books in this week - come and browse!

Alan’s bio:                                      

Born in Christchurch and raised in Hawkes Bay, Alan is the current Te Awhi Rito NZ Reading Ambassador.  Alan has over 25 years of experience working with children and young people, almost 20 of those in schools and public libraries.  He is currently Library Manager at Freyberg High School and is a former Youth Librarian at Palmerston North Intermediate School.

Alan has a deep knowledge of New Zealand children’s and young adult literature.  In 2020 he was on the judging panel for the Children’s and Young Peoples Book Awards NZCYA, and was then convenor of Judges in 2021.  He has been the coach of successful Kids Lit and Readers Cup teams.  He also teaches drama and performs with SpontaneoUS Improv group in Palmerston North. 

Alan’s vision as Te Awhi Rito is to build visibility and awareness of reading across all sectors in Aotearoa New Zealand, helping to create a nation of readers.  The aim is to inspire, empower and mobilise powerful and positive reading experiences for all.  In his words “I am a book dealer.  I am trying to get kids fixated, bewitched and enraptured by horrible truths and beautiful lies…. I’m a dealer of stories, a dealer of different worlds, a peddler in equal measure, dreams and thrills. I will hook them (the children and young adults) in, and will unashamedly strive to deliver a product that will keep them coming back for more.  I want them to think about it (reading) first thing in the morning and last thing before they go to bed.”


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