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Christchurch Mass Reading for Childrens Rights

United Nations Childrens Fund

Mass Reading as Children’s Rights 21st celebration

Imagine a thousand kids being read to all at once.

That’s what UNICEF and Canterbury College of Education are aiming to achieve this Friday and Saturday.

November 20th is the 21st anniversary of UNROC, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

New Zealand became a signatory in 1993.

At libraries and Kidsfirst kindergartens throughout Christchurch, a variety of people, including the Christchurch Wizard, city councillors, mums, dads and students will be reading to children about their rights as human beings.

“The days when children were ‘seen and not heard’ have long gone. And New Zealand is actually a country where most parents have a more inclusive relationship with children, seriously listening to their views,” says Dennis McKinlay, UNICEF New Zealand executive director.

“Today we regard children as human beings with their own set of rights as people and family members. The idea behind UNICEF’s book ‘For Every Child’ is to tell children about their rights and to remind adults that we need to recognise children’s rights.”

The book has a set of superb illustrations by some of the world’s top illustrators.

The main event is at the Christchurch Art Gallery on Saturday November 20 at 2. pm, with representatives from community organisations, Christchurch City Council and the Wizard.

There are readings at Kidfirst kindergartens and throughout Christchurch libraries on Friday 19. All event times and locations are on the libraries’ website.

Children who attend at any of the readings will get a kit which they use to illustrate a booklet themselves.

“We encourage as many people as possible, to call into their local library or go to the main event. The more the merrier,” Mr McKinlay says.

Parents or grandparents should stay with their children and participate in the event.

People can also download a shortened version of ‘For Every Child’ from http://www.unicef.org/rightsite/files/rightsforeverychild.pdf

Media are invited to come to either the main event on Saturday or one of the local events at pre-schools on Friday (see list).

UNICEF Readings around the libraries on Friday Nov 19
10.00am - New Brighton Library
10:00am - Halswell Library
10:30am - Spreydon Library
10:30am - Bishopdale Library
11:00am - Parklands Library
11:00am – Hornby Library
11:00am - Papanui Library
12:00pm - Shirley Library
12:00pm - Upper Riccarton Library
1:00pm - Redwood Library
2:00pm – Fendalton Library
3:30pm - South Learning Centre - Book Club
Saturday Nov 20 – Christchurch Art Gallery Foyer, 2pm


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