The Ōtāhuhu schools community project is about reading and writing, but it's also about family, identity and culture. It's about the relationship between writers and readers, and what happens when feelings and thoughts are explored through words. Through this project, we make a real difference in the lives of thousands of people.
The following extracts are from the New Zealand Book Council Writers in Communities page:
Our Writers in Schools programme has been running for more than 40 years, and part of its success is down to our commitment to keeping things fresh and finding new and innovative ways to engage students in reading and writing. This was the starting point for our annual schools community project in Ōtāhuhu.
The Ōtāhuhu journey started in 2013, when we began a conversation with the National Library and the Reading Together® programme ... about collaborative projects that would make a real difference in the community. This project is the result. It gives students the chance to get up close and personal with some wonderfully creative writers, which helps provide some alternative role models for those children, and it is also uncovering some budding young authors and illustrators.
Every year, five low decile schools in Ōtāhuhu, South Auckland host five diverse Aotearoa writers in residence over terms three and four. The writers encourage and inspire the students to develop their creative writing talents, and help them to publish their work in a series of anthologies.
Families in the community also have the chance to participate in workshops, exploring the ideas their children write about. They give the writers suggestions of what might draw their children out. And some, much to their own surprise, do some writing themselves.
And let's not forget the teachers – over 100 of them enjoy writing workshops and professional development sessions with our five writers, which spark ideas to get their students enjoying all that a good book has to offer.
Every year the project culminates in a celebratory book launch for students and their families at the Ōtāhuhu Pātaka Kōrero Ōtāhuhu Library.
The following videos focus on some of the families and staff members of St Joseph's Primary School, Ōtāhuhu.
Posted: Tuesday 27 February 2018