Today, we get to find out a little about a wonderful cause that we at Boh Runga Design are supporting with a dollar donation from every sale of The Lotus and The Snowbird storybook.
I talk with Linda Vagana, the GM of Duffy Books in Homes about what her and her team are doing to help inspire and encourage our tamariki.
1. Books in Homes is a wonderful initiative that encourages the love of reading and the joy of owning books in children.
Can you tell us a little about how Duffy achieves this?
Throughout the year, around 90,000 children in our 550 plus schools participate in choosing 2 brand new books three times a year. When the books arrive in each school Duffy Books invites role models from all walks of life (eg. entrepreneurs/authors/TV/
sport/book ambassadors/ etc) to share their inspirational stories in school assemblies and reinforce our book and reading messages. Our monthly activities and awards promote the importance and value of book ownership and books in the homes. All our work is not possible without the support of our amazing funding partners, Ministry of Education as well as our schools managing all aspects of Duffy programme.
2. What are some of the obstacles faced by your organisation?
Funding is our biggest challenge. We really want to instill a love of books from an early age. Currently we have 265 early learning centres across NZ participating on Duffy Books – If we could support more centres engaging early learners and communities of whanau where books are most in need and we can start early and empower our kids and whanau.
3. Duffy also has Duffy Theatre which sounds like a lovely interactive way to engage with kids! Can you tell us about your theatre group?
Our theatre show is an interactive live show that brings our mascot Duffy to life. Duffy is always on a new adventure with lots of twists and sometimes controversial storytelling but Duffy is always turning to his reading skills to save the day. Duffy kids in our many communities look forward to our touring theatre show every year.
4. Were you an avid reader as a child?
Yes totally!!! Not the hiding under blanket ones…. Yes, Sweet Valley High was the series that hooked me in to reading. I was supposed to be doing homework or bedtime but I was always looking to quickly finish the volume and move onto the next ….
What was a book that you really loved or really inspired you? The bible was the first book I learnt to read in Samoan language. I didn’t understand the language too well but once I read the English version I was always fascinated by the historic storytelling in the bible.
5. How can someone show their support for what Duffy Books in Homes is trying to achieve?