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Bookshops and kids to benefit from grant

Bookshops and kids to benefit from grant

Bookshops and kids are the winners today, with the announcement of the booksellers across Australia and New Zealand who will benefit from the $100,000 grant James Patterson pledged when he visited Australia in May.

The bestselling US author and bookshop devotee has announced the recipients after a lengthy judging process.

‘I have been delighted by people have applied for the grants and the calibre of the applications,’ says James. ‘We have worked to identify bookshops for whom this money may make a real difference and for whom getting children reading is a real passion.’

James met with many local booksellers on his Australian tour in May. Any independent bookshop with a dedicated children’s book section was eligible for a grant of up to $5000.

Hundreds of bookshops throughout New Zealand and Australia applied for the grant, with many asking for the maximum amount available.

Requests ranged from setting up reading programmes for kids in need to hosting literary festivals in local communities, with many others simply seeking to freshen up and expand the children’s section of their store.

Hedleys Bookshop in Masterton will use their grant to employ a dynamic Children’s Book Ambassador to connect with children throughout the community via their local school. Hedleys’ Book Ambassador will create opportunities for children to become engaged with books through initiatives such as book groups, student-led newsletters and appointing young readers as library monitors.

Another bookshop receiving a grant is Wardini Books in Havelock North. In order to incentivise and celebrate the achievements of young readers this innovative bookseller will be instigating a trading card scheme. Children will be rewarded with trading cards for a variety of ‘events’ including finishing their first chapter book, completing a series, writing a book review or attending a book club.

Paper Plus Northlands and The Children’s Bookshop in Wellington will also be recipients of aJames Patterson grant.

Lincoln Gould, Chief Executive of Booksellers New Zealand, says: ‘It is fantastic to see how New Zealand bookstores have reacted to this wonderfully generous offer by James Patterson with creative plans that can only encourage children to read. It is inspiring to see one of the oldest bookselling families in the country, Hedleys in Masterton, and one of the newest, the Wards from Wardini Books in Havelock North, among the winners. This alone demonstrates that bookshops in New Zealand are not only well entrenched in this country but are sustainable into the future, playing a vital role in reading development.’


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