We’re very happy to be associated with International Book Giving Day on February 14.
It’s great to see an initiative that aligns so closely with what we’re trying to achieve here in
. New Zealand
Duffy Books in Homes gives free books, three times a year, to over 100,000 New Zealand children in 529 lower-decile schools and 217 Early Childhood centres. These schools and centres are spread from the Far North to Bluff.
We currently give away an average of more than one book every minute of every day of the year. In the last year alone the programme has given away more than 600,000 books.
Since 1993 over 8,000,000 books have been given to hundreds of thousands of students from low income homes.
A combination of schools, sponsors and the Government has made it possible to give away so many books. Each pays approximately a third of the total cost of the programme, equating to around $13.50 per child, per year.
The programme was founded by Alan Duff, author of ‘Once Were Warriors’ and philanthropist Christine Fernyhough who saw that many homes in
were ‘bookless.’ New Zealand
Our vision is to break the cycle of booklessness in
homes by inspiring a love of books in Duffy children so they become adults who inspire a love of reading. New Zealand
We give children a minimum of five brand new books of their choice each year at no charge. In addition, children can earn weekly ‘Caught Being Good’ book awards as well as other awards for effort and attitude. Prominent New Zealand Role Models present the books and spread the message ‘It’s Cool to Read and Cool to Achieve!’ Sponsors enjoy the opportunity to hand out books at these special assemblies.
Other features include two travelling theatre groups which perform to schools each year, awards for parents and grandparents and books for preschool siblings on their birthdays
Schools in the programme notice an improved attitude towards books and reading. Changes include less theft, vandalism and bullying within schools.
Past research has shown improvements in reading scores of up to 35% for schools joining the programme. Current research shows that kids in ‘Duffy’ schools show decreased signs of a drop in reading achievement over the summer holidays – an issue which schools have traditionally struggled with.
We’re most proud of becoming an integral part of so many schools’ literacy programmes and giving children something of their own to treasure. As the original ‘Duffy kids’ are now beginning to have children of their own one of our greatest rewards is to see how they are passing on their love of reading to their own children.
Duffy kids who have gone on to success in later life include World BMX champion and Olympic Silver medallist Sarah Walker and 2010 Miss World New Zealand Cody Yerkovich.
You can help us give even more books to
children by making a donation. As little as $5 will buy one book for a child while $50 will give a child all the services and benefits of the programme for a whole year. New Zealand
You can even Donate Your Desktop space to us and help to sponsor a Duffy kid at no cost whatsoever.