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Book bins earn social enterprise award

MEDIA RELEASE – Otago Polytechnic

For immediate release, Wednesday 7 August 2013

Book bins earn social enterprise award

We have clothing bins, what about book bins?

What if people could leave their pre-loved books in conveniently located containers, and have them distributed to families with young children. This was the prize-winning concept of the Otago Girls’ High School team which took out the regional prize for the P3 Foundation social enterprise competition, sponsored by Otago Polytechnic.

The idea draws upon research that growing up in a “bookish” home is a key factor in academic achievement, even when you take into account parents’ level of education.

In doing so, the winning team of Year 13 students Beth Chapman, Jisu Lee, Olivia Severins and Taryn Swete met the competition’s requirement of using business strategies to address one of the Millennium Development Goals – in this case boosting education and literacy.

Event organiser and Otago Polytechnic student MaryJane Kivalu says the competition is a way of showing how, with a bit of planning and passion, “It’s really possible to find new ways of changing the world”.

“It was such an easy decision to support this competition,” comments Otago Polytechnic Marketing and Communications Manager Nicola Mutch. “It’s all about practical solutions that make a real difference to the community and that’s exactly what Otago Polytechnic stands for. What stood out was that the projects were actually very achievable.”

Other regional finalists explored possibilities for combatting malaria in an island in Vanuatu, securing safe drinking water in Ethiopia and informing Pasifika parents in New Zealand about how best to support their teenagers studying in secondary school.

As well as providing the winning team with $500 to help make their project happen, Otago Polytechnic is sponsoring the team to travel to Auckland to present their idea at the national final.


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