Just a week after registrations opened and with 2000 sign ups, you could hardly ask for a more exciting surprise to kick off Auckland Libraries’ Dare to Explore summer reading programme.
A team of Children and Youth librarians headed out to Albert Eden Schools Cultural Festival to promote the programme over the weekend and were thrilled to find themselves in the company of Jacinda Ardern.
Slightly shell-shocked, Eileen Kolai-Tuala from Mt Albert managed to snag a moment with the Prime Minister to chat about the programme.
The team were inspired by how excited Jacinda was, including her asking to take one of the booklets home for her niece! Later they got a visit from her at the mobile bus, having to snake her away across a field of even more eager photo-takers.
Dave Tucker from Pt Chev Library said that the Prime Minister was enthusiastic about seeing libraries being a real part of the community.
“It’s such a buzz for everyone to see libraries so active. To come across four children’s librarians just out at a festival sharing what’s going on for the summer, really shows that’s what libraries is, not something locked in a building.
"The Dare to Explore programme is all about challenges and adventures to fill the summer holidays.”
Marian Walker, from Mt Roskill Library was blown away by such an exciting start to the programme. “I’m standing there thinking – registrations have just only opened, it’s the first day we’ve all gone out to tell people about the programme – and we meet the Prime Minister! She lifted everything up, even making sure the Dare to Explore leaflets were in the photos while we were just chatting away.”
Dare to Explore is a holiday reading adventure for 5-13 year olds running between 13 December and 17 January. The programme is designed to improve your child’s literacy and te reo Māori and teach kids about caring for the environment. Activity booklets are available in both bilingual-English or te reo Māori.