Sunday 8 September is International Literacy Day. In celebration, we’re showing our appreciation for a place that plays an integral role in New Zealand children’s literacy: school libraries.
After talking with the School Library Association of New Zealand (SLANZA), Asteron Life has been working with several schools to make book token donations, to help continue the great work their libraries and librarians are doing in their school communities.
The library, a place of possibilities at Corinna School
At Corinna School, a full primary school in Porirua East, students are always excited when there are new books on the library’s shelves. Acting Principal Trish Nash says the school will use our book token donation to buy more books that reflect the children’s interests and culture and that take students on new adventures.
“Reading is magic,” she says. “When Corinna students see themselves reflected in a book they really connect with the story. Reading can also help students gain a different perspective and understanding of others, learn something new, or be transported to other spaces and places.”
“Our library is a place of possibilities,” Trish continues, “when our librarian puts just the right book in a student’s hands, it’s like finding a place to belong.”
Favourite NZ books at Corinna School
Aotearoa, the New Zealand Story by Gavin Bishop and the Pasifika Heroes series by David Riley.
Reading like ‘life depends on it’ at Huntly College
Huntly College is undertaking a transformation project to get students actively using the school library – and it’s getting great results. In two and a half terms, student library use has risen from 1.5% to 21%. There’s more work to do, though. The school’s goal is to reach at least 40% by the end of this year.
As part of the project, Huntly College is heavily investing in new books. Our book token donation will be used to help purchase fiction and non-fiction titles. The school has involved its students in the transformation, talking to them to understand what makes a library a place they enjoy. New spaces for crafts, LEGO and a café have been created and initiatives, like regular competitions and Hapuni Pukapuka, pop-up libraries in classrooms, encourage the students to get reading.
Deputy Principal and Literacy Lead Michaela Pinkerton says, “Getting students into the library for a range of activities allows us to get alongside the students to make personal book recommendations.”
“We’ve proven that connecting the right book to the right person makes everyone a potential reader. One of our favourite sayings is ‘read and write like your life depends on it – because it does’.”
Favourite NZ books at Huntly College
Young Queen by Parris Goebel
Reflecting the school community at Wharenui School
At Wharenui School in Riccarton, the school community is diverse with 32 ethnic groups and 43 languages represented within the student body.
Wharenui School Librarian Louise Easter says, “Our school would like to join with Asteron Life to celebrate International Literacy Day. We appreciate the donation towards books to enhance our school library.”
“Wharenui School will use the donation to buy current, attractive non-fiction about other countries, reflecting our school community.”
Favourite NZ books at Wharenui School
Aotearoa, the New Zealand Story by Gavin Bishop and Maui and Other Maori Legends – by Peter Gossage.