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Tana Umaga New Zealand's Next Prime Minister?

Press Release
The Alan Duff Charitable Foundation
Books in Homes
For Immediate Release

Tana Umaga New Zealands Next Prime Minister?

Well if Jessica Pokotoki from Invercargill had her way, he most definitely would be!

Tana Umaga For Prime Minister is just one of a collection of stories in the 2004 edition of Tikity Boo!, an anthology of children's writing and illustrations. Tikity Boo!, published annually by Books in Homes and produced by Learning Media Limited, showcases the talent and imagination of Duffy kids around the country. Providing us with a rare glimpse into the way our children view the world, Tikity-boo! is all about giving kids a place to have their say, giving them the thrill of seeing their work in print, and instilling in them the pride and self-belief to make what they want of their lives.

Written and illustrated by children who attend schools on the Books in Homes programme, the anthology also contains contributions by leading New Zealand authors Joy Cowley, Margaret Mahy, Gavin Bishop, and Kingi McKinnon.

For the first time ever, Tikity-boo! will be available for sale in Whitcoulls and PaperPlus bookstores throughout New Zealand with proceeds going towards the Books in Homes Programme.

Tikity-boo! is being launched at Whitcoulls, Botany Downs in Auckland on Thursday the 17th of June from 6.00pm and will be attended by Tana Umaga for Prime Minister namesake Prime Minister Helen Clark as well as Books in Homes founder Alan Duff, and a number of the authors and illustrators. With every Whitcoulls store in New Zealand sponsoring a school on the Books in Homes programme, it seemed very appropriate that the launch of Tikity-boo! should take place in one of their stores.

The Alan Duff Charitable Foundation Books in Homes Programme was established in 1995 following a visit by Once Were Warriors author Alan Duff to Camberley School where he found that many of the children showed little or no interest in reading. From its early beginnings of 80 schools, 16,000 students, and 14 sponsors, the Programme has grown to encompass 441 schools, over 80,000 students, and approximately 198 sponsors.

All decile 1, 2 and 3 schools are eligible to join the Books in Homes Programme, and each child on the Books in Homes Programme receives at least five free books per year. With support from the Ministry of Education and private sponsors, Books in Homes also provides a first-rate travelling theatre group, twice-yearly visits by Role Models, the Kids at Home Programme where students give birthday books to preschool siblings, and many awards to promote books and reading.

The New Zealand Council for Educational Research evaluation of Books in Homes, released in March 2002, found that virtually every aspect of the Programme has had beneficial effects for the schools involved and described Books in Homes as a "powerful force" that "invests in the future but changes the present".


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