has been a long-time supporter of the Duffy Books in Homes literacy program in New Zealand. 

The program provides books to New Zealand children in areas where books can not be taken for granted as part of the normal furniture of life. It aims to break the cycle of booklessness amongst children at low decile schools throughout New Zealand.

Duffy Books in Homes coordinator Jacqui Whyte writes to tell us that the program’s schools — including Runanga, the school that TORn sponsors — recently received their latest orders of books.

As part of the program, Duffy role models also typically visit different schools to foster a love of reading and tell kids that reading is a cool thing to do.

Jacqui writes:

Due to Covid-19, the usual visits by our Role Models to celebrate the books arriving at school assemblies were not able to take place; however, we were able to provide inspirational messages about the importance of literacy via video instead.

These have become a great resource for our teachers as they can share them anytime and with individual students and/or in class groups. We now have a fantastic and varied collection available on our website.

I wanted to share with you the video Runanga School received from Role Model and ultra-marathon swimmer Liana Smith.

Duffy Role Model Ultra Marathon Swimmer Liana Smith from Jacqui Whyte on Vimeo.

Since 1995, the Duffy program has grown to encompass more than 520 schools and 280 early childhood centres In 2018, with the backing of over 200 funding partners, supporters and donors in 2018, it was able to distribute books to more than 100,000 students.

As well as their website, Duffy Books in Homes is very active on both Facebook and Instagram. Go check out all the great literacy work they do!

Hobbit party logoWe’re happy to announce that the Red Carpet Tours and TORN Premiere Party in Wellington raised $2600 for our chosen charity, Duffy Books in Homes.Thanks so much to Peter Jackson, Weta, Stansborough, Harper Collins and Asni the Harpist for donating beautiful things we could offer in our party auctions and raffles. Thanks to the generosity of the Red Carpet Premiere Tour too, who raised more money in a spirited round of bidding during their farewell dinner a week later.

Originally half the proceeds of the party were to benefit TORN itself, but after a quick palaver among TORN’s senior staff we decided to give it all to Duffy Books in Homes. The Duffy scheme provides books to New Zealand children in areas where books can not be taken for granted as part of the normal furniture of life. Duffy role models travel the country fostering a love of reading. It’s a great scheme, and one long supported by both TORN and Red Carpet’s founders Vic and Raewyn James, who were schoolteachers and principals before they went into tourism.