Judah Kelly (13), of Queen's High School in Dunedin, breaks out her summer book bag with schoolmates. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Years 9 and 10 pupils at Dunedin's Queen's High School have
been given book bags in an initiative to combat a traditional
drop in literacy levels over the summer break.
The idea had been popular, with 36 of the school's 180 years
9 and 10 pupils applying to participate in the inaugural
programme, principal Julie Anderson said.
''It's been very popular with the girls. We might have a rush
on next year."
Mrs Gardiner said the book bags were personally assembled for
each pupil, taking into account their tastes and interests.
''We're trying to broaden them and we want to prevent the
girls going away over summer and not reading.
''There are also activities for them to do during the school
The packs included information on cycling and walking route
maps, a bus timetable, public library hours, a Christmas
cracker and chocolates.
Many of the pupils were already voracious readers, such as
''This is a great idea and I'll definitely be doing it again
next year,'' she said.
''I love reading. Books are such a great escape."