Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature is excited to partner with the Pulse Energy Highlanders rugby team in a new pilot programme, Little Landers Literature, designed to encourage primary school pupils to read more. A significant body of research shows that reading for pleasure at a young age leads to a range of improved life outcomes, including health and wellbeing.
“Together we’re reminding young Dunedinites that reading is cool!” says Nicky Page, Director City of Literature. “The players and the children are swapping stories about their favourite books and lyrics and reading to each other – it’s a great way to make friends.”
The programme sees Highlanders making repeat visits to the schools during term two for informal sessions, with plenty of opportunity for the children to interact with the players. Local writer-illustrators Robyn Belton and Kathryn van Beek, whose latest books have been read to the children by the players, are also visiting each school for a lively session on writing and illustrating.