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Children to Benefit from Magic of Reading

26 November 2007

Media Release

Northland Children to Benefit from Barfoot & Thompson Magic of Reading programme

Rugby hero Keven Mealamu brought smiles of delight to children at Whangarei Hospital today when he made a lunchtime visit to officially launch the Barfoot & Thompson Magic of Reading programme.

From today onwards, every child staying a night or more at Whangarei Hospital will receive a brand new book to help entertain them during their stay and take home with them when they leave, courtesy of Magic of Reading.

Magic of Reading was pioneered at Starship Hospital in Auckland where it is fully funded by Barfoot & Thompson and distributes about 15,000 books a year. Keven Mealamu is Barfoot & Thompson’s Magic of Reading Ambassador at Starship and helps spread the word about the programme.

Today marks the first time the Magic of Reading programme has been extended beyond Starship and Barfoot & Thompson Director Peter Thompson says it was an easy decision to bring the programme north.

“Barfoot & Thompson operates exclusively in Auckland and Northland. While we’re extremely proud of what Magic of Reading achieves at Starship, we were aware that not all children in our catchment area were benefiting. When the opportunity arose to extend the reach of the programme to Whangarei Hospital children’s ward – we were delighted to be able to help.”

Barfoot & Thompson anticipates distributing about 3,000 books a year in Northland. The company will fully fund the provision of a range of books and the hospital play specialist will select a book appropriate to each patient’s age and interests.”

Barfoot & Thompson’s Magic of Reading Ambassador, Keven Mealamu says, “I’ve been very impressed with what Magic of Reading achieves at Starship and am really pleased to see that Northland children will now also benefit from it.”


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