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15 Years Of Duffy Books In Homes

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

15 years, over 7,000,000 books and tens of thousands of students ago Alan Duff and Christine Fernyhough envisaged a programme which would help end the cycle of booklessness in New Zealand homes.

On August 24 1995 the Books in Homes programme (Duffy was officially added in 2007) launched with 80 schools, 16,000 students and 14 sponsors. Now it has grown to encompass 547 schools, over 100,000 students and 198 sponsors in 2010. The programme now gives away more than one book every minute of every day and has become one of the key literacy initiatives in low decile areas.

Former Duffy kids are now making their mark on New Zealand and the world. Notable names include BMX champion Sarah Walker and Cody Yerkovich who was crowned Miss World New Zealand in 2010.

Just as important are those who have broken the cycle and are now mothers and fathers reading to their own children. These parents who grew up with the Duffy programme are now passing on their love of books and reading to a new generation who will take it for granted that books are an integral part of home life.

Duffy Books in Homes will mark their 15th anniversary with a celebration at Mangere's Viscount School on August 24th at 10.45a.m. Numerous personalities from the past and present connected with the programme will be in attendance including Alan Duff, Christine Fernyhough, Winnie Laban, Linda Vagana, Jackie Clarke, Jan Hellriegel, Ruud Kleinpaste and Stacey Morrison. The event will be MCd by award-winning Newstalk ZB newsreader, Niva Retimanu.

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