Working to improve literacy

CHILDREN are beaming after a generous donation of books by a Rotary club.

More than 100 students in Year 4 at Chapel Downs Primary, a decile-two school in East Tamaki, have been given illustrated dictionaries by Pakuranga Rotary.

Hushed excitement resonated through the school’s hall as the pupils waited to receive their books from Rotarians Paul Ewing and David Wardell.

“It’s their own personal copy,” says Mr Wardell, who runs the club’s dictionary project. “For a lot of kids, it’s likely this will be the only reference book in their house. It will have a much wider literacy spin-off.”

Pupils pored over the pages of their dictionaries and read some entries aloud.

About 31,000 books have been distributed to low-decile schools in New Zealand as part of Rotary’s dictionary programme.

“Literacy is so important because it opens many doors for the future for children,” says Mr Wardell.

“Without it, their options are significantly reduced.”

One lucky recipient, nine-year-old Dione, says her new book is “awesome”.