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Thousands of children to receive free books before holidays

Media Release

10 September 2012

Thousands of children to receive free books prior to holidays

From today until the end of term, tens of thousands of school children in more than 530 low decile schools will begin to receive two free books each from literacy charity Duffy Books in Homes.

The charity will be helped by dozens of prominent and inspiring role models who will visit each Duffy school from Te Hapua in the Far North to Bluff in Southland.

The role models visit Duffy schools twice a year to deliver the charity’s key message – ‘It’s cool to read and cool to achieve.’

While ‘Duffy kids’ look forward to receiving two free books each during the next three weeks, they are just as excited to hear from an inspirational role model during a special school assembly.

Role models visiting Duffy schools include Shortland Street’s Alison Quigan, authors Tony Williams, Alistair McIntyre and Joy Watson, Newstalk ZB newsreader Rachel Jackson-Lees, TV presenter and model Jo Holley, storytellers Rhubarb, entertainer Adrian Kirk and netballer Linda Vagana.

They make the connection between their careers and their love of reading and show children, some of whom have never owned a book in their lives, that reading provides a pathway to success.

Much like the Lucky Book Club, kids in Duffy schools choose books from a catalogue at the start of term and then wait patiently for their book presentation assembly. The big difference is that their books don’t cost them or their families a cent.

Since the official launch in 1995 with 80 schools, 16,000 students and 14 sponsors, the Duffy Books in Homes programme has grown to encompass 532 schools, around 100,000 students and 200 sponsors in 2012. More than eight million books have been distributed to children in low-decile schools since its inception and the programme now distributes more than 600,000 books annually.

-Ends-

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