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Nominations Now Open For Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador

Nominations are open to be the second Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador for children and young people.

Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador supports and champions the importance of reading in the lives of young New Zealanders, their whānau and communities.

It is an exciting opportunity to build on the wonderful mahi of the inaugural ambassador, writer Ben Brown, whose two-year term will end in May 2023.

“We asked for the inaugural Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador to inspire, empower and mobilise powerful, positive reading experiences for children, young people, whānau, and communities in Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Kate De Goldi, chair of Te Puna Foundation.

“Ben has gone above and beyond our expectations. Now we are equally excited to see who will take this role and add their own stamp to it.”

As a national reading role model, the Reading Ambassador will increase the visibility and awareness of reading across all sectors, helping to create a nation of readers. They will make connections between the many organisations involved in reading, literacy, literature and the wellbeing of young people.

The Reading Ambassador will also build appreciation of, access to, and growth of stories and literature that reflect Aotearoa New Zealand, including in te reo Māori and the diverse languages and cultures of Aotearoa.

In his term to date, Ben Brown has visited schools and kura, events and celebrations around Aotearoa New Zealand, sharing stories and highlighting connections between storytelling, reading aloud and reading.

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“Across time, each Reading Ambassador will bring their own strengths. Ben has bestowed great mana to the role, and we are looking for nominees who can continue to grow and express the true meaning of Te Awhi Rito.”

The name Te Awhi Rito comes from the harakeke or flax plant. The ‘Rito’ is the young shoot at the centre of the plant. ‘Awhi Rito’ are the strong, mature leaves that stand straight and tall to surround, protect and nurture the Rito.

The role carries a stipend and operational expenses are funded separately.

The National Library of New Zealand leads the Te Awhi Rito New Zealand Ambassador programme in partnership with Te Puna Foundation, Read New Zealand Te Pou Muramura, Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa and Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa. Read more about Te Awhi Rito at the Reading Ambassador website.

Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 January. To make a nomination, please click here.

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