The Books Back Better fundraising initiative is being launched today to help the recovery of school libraries affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
A group of local Hawkes Bay authors, school librarians and booksellers, led by Mary-anne Scott, have teamed up with SLANZA (School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) and Booksellers Aotearoa NZ to create the Books Back Better project.
Books Back Better is a project to collect monetary donations from our wider communities around the motu to buy Booksellers Tokens and distribute these to kura/schools, Kohanga Reo and Kindergartens affected by the recent cyclone Gabrielle in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Mary-anne Scott, Hawkes Bay author, is leading the Books Back Better group. “A well-stocked, library should be the beating heart of any learning environment for our tamariki. Books Back Better aims to restock flooded school libraries after Gabrielle. Monies raised will provide book tokens so the affected libraries can be filled with books best-suited for their readers.”
Our SLANZA National Executive had been discussing ideas about how we best to support school libraries around the motu that had been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle when Mary-anne phoned me with a desire to support affected school libraries, so it was a no-brainer that we do all we could to get behind a locally driven project”, says Sasha Eastwood, school librarian at Manchester Street School and current President of SLANZA. “The tokens will give schools agency to purchase their own books with their community needs in mind. We hope these books will give comfort to akonga/students as school communities work through recovering from the devastating damage of recent events.”
Booksellers Aotearoa were also approached by Mary-anne and were keen to be involved. “The devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle has had impacts throughout New Zealand’s book-loving community, including several of our members.” says Dan Slevin, Booksellers Aotearoa CEO. “By channeling these generous donations through discounted Booksellers Tokens, our association can make a contribution to those schools, kohanga and kindies that have to rebuild their collections, and also support our members operating in affected communities in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti and Hawkes Bay.”
People can donate via the SLANZA website. Donations will be used to purchase Booksellers Tokens which will be distributed to kura/schools, kindergartens or Kōhanga Reo in Aotearoa New Zealand affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and who fit the project criteria via an application process. These tokens will enable the affected kura/schools to purchase new books from local booksellers to replace those damaged. Booksellers Aotearoa are supplying the tokens at a 20 percent discount off face value.
Join us today by donating to Books Back Better.