Sir Readalot to the rescue

16:00, Nov 08 2012
Sir Read Alot
KNIGHT READER: Sir Readalot leads Gulf Harbour School’s voracious readers at the school book parade. The book-hungry knight is played by school board of trustee chairman Julian Heath, and he regularly drops into classrooms to ask children about their reading progress.

Mountains of books have been devoured by Gulf Harbour School children in a bid to raise funds for their school.

The 450 students could be found with their nose in a book over the past fortnight as part of the school's The Great Stick Your Head in a Book Athon event, which started on October 15.

The aim was twofold - to commemorate the late New Zealand children's author Margaret Mahy, and to also raise funds to buy new books and computer equipment for the school.

And read the students did, exceeding their goal of reading 200,000 pages by another 400,000 pages.

To celebrate such a page turning event, a banana split party is on today at 2pm, with each child served a banana split ice-cream.

A Read All Day event was held on October 29.


Students dressed up in book characters for a book parade, followed with a story session with Gulf Harbour resident and children's book author Stu Duval, and a storytelling session by older students.

"The pupils were very excited about the Read All Day event, and read many more pages than expected," teacher Charlotte Brown says.

"The grand total was over 600,000 pages."

Championing the bookathon is board of trustees chairman Julian Heath who was knighted Sir Readalot.

Together with his bookshield and his shiny steed in the form of a black motorcycle, Sir Readalot visited classrooms to encourage students to read, and to collect sponsors for their bookathon.

Sir Readalot could also be heard booming excerpts of Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine over the school's intercom each afternoon.

Teachers also read to the whole school each morning from various locations, with one on the roof of the school's entranceway.

"One teacher and the caretaker arrived on a ride-on mower for a farm story one morning," Ms Brown says.

"The older children read to the younger ones, and helped them count their pages," she says.

Parents and grandparents were also invited to read to the children, and teachers moved around the classrooms to read to different classes each day.

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North Harbour News