Kids get a spe­cial reader

Eastern Courier - - News - By ES­THER LAUAKI Ka­pai Kiwi

It was an ex­cit­ing morn­ing for chil­dren at Glen Innes Kinder­garten when a sur­prise vis­i­tor dropped in with some gifts.

The kinder­garten is a ben­e­fi­ciary of the Fair­fax First Books pro­gramme which dis­trib­utes free books to preschool chil­dren in low decile ar­eas.

Fair­fax chief ex­ec­u­tive Allen Wil­liams read to the chil­dren and handed out the books on March 23.

Each of the 4000 Kiwi chil­dren in the pro­gramme will re­ceive four new books to take home over the course of this year. Around 100,000 books will have been dis­trib­uted to chil­dren at 60 of the na­tion’s low decile kinder­gartens by the end of the month.

The chil­dren at Glen Innes Kinder­garten were very happy to re­ceive a book from the

se­ries. The se­ries by Un­cle An­zac is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween own­ers The Fly­ing Ki­wis Ltd and il­lus­tra­tors Free­lance An­i­ma­tors, fol­low­ing a cu­ri­ous Kiwi on his ad­ven­tures through New Zealand.

Fair­fax First Books is a na­tional char­ity launched by Fair­fax Me­dia in 2006.

‘‘Ev­ery big com­pany has a cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity,’’ chief ex­ec­u­tive Allen Wil­liams says. ‘‘It’s one of the ways of tak­ing the amount of money we get from things like Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays and get­ting it back into the com­mu­nity. I think it’s im­por­tant to get that money back into lit­er­acy for our chil­dren.

‘‘For them to get a book to take home and be able to share it with their fam­i­lies is re­ally spe­cial.’’

Teacher Kogi Yegam­baram says hav­ing some­one come and read to the chil­dren makes them ap­pre­ci­ate the gift even more.

‘‘There’s a great sense of own­er­ship when the chil­dren re­ceive the books be­cause they can take it and put their name in the front of it. They get re­ally ex­cited about tak­ing the books home and read­ing it to their par­ents.’’

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