Following on from the highly successful first year of The Otahuhu Writers in Schools Project, the New Zealand Book Council has published an article (on 26 Sept 2016) titled 'Five amazing writers and five fantastic schools come together in the second annual Ōtāhuhu Writers in Schools community project', available here. Excerpts from the article follow:
Hundreds of lucky young readers and writers in five schools in Ōtāhuhu (South Auckland) have been inspired, encouraged and delighted by visiting writers who led workshops, gave talks and shared their own writing knowledge with the students.
This is an innovative collaboration between five Ōtāhuhu primary/intermediate schools, Reading Together (a Ministry of Education supported reading initiative), the Ōtāhuhu Pātaka Kōrero Ōtāhuhu Library, the National Library Services to Schools programme, and the New Zealand Book Council's Writers in Schools programme.
The final outcome of The Otahuhu Writers in Schools Project is a series of books created by each school featuring poems, short stories and illustrations written by students during the workshops.
November 2016 Update
Quoting from 'Our Ōtāhuhu: Melinda Szymanik on being a writer in residence for our 2016 schools community project', available here:
I'd heard about the Ōtāhuhu Project; a small group of writers and illustrators doing an intensive series of visits with students at several South Auckland schools, teaching writing skills and encouraging a love of reading; a kind of collection of mini residencies I guess. The idea sounded wonderful. ...
Words are powerful things, and our ability to control and understand them has a huge impact on how we navigate our lives.
The New Zealand Herald has published an article titled 'Writers in classroom get a boost from Auckland Airport donations', available here. Quoting from the article:
Auckland Airport's $10,000 donation means the programme can continue for a third year.
"Funding is always an issue because it' s a more expensive project than some of the school's projects that we run so getting this grant means we can confidently go ahead next year which is fantastic," said [NZ Book Council chief executive Catriona] Ferguson.
She said all the evidence pointed to just how important reading is for young people, but it was often forgotten.
"There's the obvious benefits that you need to be able to read to function in society," Ferguson said. But children who read also had better relationships with their parents, they enjoyed earlier academic success and it helped them to deal with social structure, she said.
November 2017 Update
The New Zealand Book Council has published a short video from the 2016 end of year celebration at Ōtāhuhu Library, available here.
Posted: Wednesday 14 December 2016