Believe, Become, Inspire
Believe, Become, Inspire

Students from Kedgley Intermediate worked with teacher-author David Riley to tell stories of the inspirational alumni who have attended their school. Believe, Become, Inspire features profiles of Auckland’s mayor, Phil Goff, former Black Ferns captain, Fiao’o Fa’amausili, rugby league legend, Jason Taumalolo, as well as business people, artists, activists and lots more achievers who got their start at the famous South Auckland school.

 

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In My DNA
In My DNA

Ten young people from Pacific Advance Secondary School worked with teacher-author David Riley to share stories of the people, cultures and places that make them who they are, bring them joy and inspire them to be excellent.

‘I appreciate those cultural teachings because theyre part of my DNA … I will always remember what my grandma taught me, wherever I go.’ (Christian Faimalo)

 

 

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Ko Au Ko e Tama Niue
Ko Au Ko e Tama Niue

I can’t wait to go back to Niue and learn more about my culture and my people.’ (Abigail Ikiua)

Fourteen Niue young people worked with teacher-writer David Riley, to bring you this book – Ko Au Ko e Tama Niue. The stories they’ve written demonstrate their immense pride in being Niue. You’ll read about a beloved ancestor, swimming in Niue, fishing with Grandpa, how to make a kahoa, and their love for their language, dance and culture! Come and share the beauty of Niue culture with them. Oue tulou!

 

 

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Rongomai on Lockdown
Rongomai on Lockdown

What did you do during the 2021 lockdown? Children from Rongomai School in Ōtara used the time to write a book with the help of teacher-writer, David Riley.

In Rongomai in Lockdown the children share their feelings about the lockdown, things their families did to get through it, and little moments that made them grateful.

‘I got to spend more time with my family, play with them and be there for them.’  (Jahmilah)

 

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Star Dreaming
Star Dreaming

Star Dreaming is a book inspired by the stars of Matariki.

In art and writing, young people from Sylvia Park School in Auckland share stories of family, of special places, of proud moments, of loved ones passed, and dreams for the future.

Take a look inside and be inspired too.

Happy Matariki!

 

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Taku Toi Kahurangi
Taku Toi Kahurangi

Taku Toi Kahurangi (my precious jewel) is a book inspired by the stars of Matariki.

In art and writing, young people from St Francis Catholic School in Auckland share stories of family, special places, proud moments, loved ones passed, and their aspirations for the future.

Take a look inside and be inspired too.

Mānawatia a Matariki!

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Tuvalu Toku Atufenua Pele
Tuvalu Toku Atufenua Pele

‘I value my Tuvaluan heritage. I want to pass it on to my children in the future so they can do the same.’ (Fiesola Puafolau)

Eight Tuvaluan young people worked with teacher-writer David Riley, to bring you this book – Tuvalu Toku Atufenua Pele. The stories they’ve written demonstrate their immense pride in being Tuvaluan. You’ll read about Grandma’s weaving, kaleve, te ano, how to make a kahoa, their Olympic heroes, and their love for their language, legends, clothing, fatele and culture! Come and share the beauty of Tuvaluan culture with them.

 

 

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Ko Hoku Fonua
Ko Hoku Fonua

‘I’ve been to many countries. But there’s nowhere that gives me the same feeling as my fonua, Tonga.’ (Anisi Pulotu)

Ten Tongan young people worked with teacher-writer David Riley, to bring you this book – Ko Hoku Fonuá. The stories they’ve written demonstrate their immense pride in being Tongan. You’ll read about the importance of family and lotu, their favourite Tongan foods and clothing, their love for Tongan arts like dance and drumming, first trips to Tonga, and of course their admiration for Tongan heroes like Jason Taumalolo! Come and share some of the beauty of Tongan culture with them.

 

 

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La’u Penina Tautele
La’u Penina Tautele

‘I will always remember the last words my parents said to me before I came here: “Don’t forget who you are.” I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud to be Sāmoan.’

‘O le ā ‘ou manatua pea ‘upu mulimuli a oʻu matua iā te aʻu ‘ae ‘ou te leʻi sau i’inei: “Aua neʻi e fa’agaloina oe.” ‘Ou te mitamita lava iā te aʻu. ‘Ou te mitamita ona o a’u o le Sāmoa.’

In La’u Penina Tautele, 11 young people from Tangaroa College in Ōtara, South Auckland, share how they stay connected to their culture, though they’re far from home.

The young writers worked with teacher-writer David Riley to select objects that represent who they are as Pacific young people, and to tell stories about them in English and Sāmoan.

You’ll be inspired to read about how proud these youth are of their identity – it’s a penina tautele to them, a pearl of great price.

 

 

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Ngā Tamaiti Rangatira
Ngā Tamaiti Rangatira

I love supporting those who support me.

I believe one day I’ll be successful.

I dream about a lot of things.

I say, ‘Live life to the fullest.’ (Rayshianah)

 

Ngā Tamaiti Rangatira is a collection of writing by young people from the Tipu Whare program at Panama Road School.

 

Working with teacher-writer David Riley, these rangatahi share their thoughts about life, their dreams and the special people they admire.

 

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This Special Place by Flat Bush School
This Special Place

“Happiness fills our street, people breathe it in like sweet air.”

“When I’m with my family, in this special place,  I wish I could never leave.”

In This Special Place, children from Flat Bush School share what they love about growing up in Ōtara, South Auckland. Watch out world, these ten young authors are coming …  with their aroha, commitment, passion and talent!

Check out an article by Read NZ Te Pou Muramura about the project.

 

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Where I Live
Where I Live

‘In South Auckland strangers offer warm smiles, talking to one another like they know each other. They say, “Thank you,” “Please,” and “Sorry.” That lets you know they’re being sincere and they mean it. I feel safe and I feel warm where I live, in my home in South Auckland.’

Where I Live celebrates growing up in South Auckland. In this book, 11 students from St Mary MacKillop School in Mangere East describe the things they love about their amazing community. Teacher-author, David Riley, grew up in Mangere too, and helps the students find the words to express their thoughts. Be blessed, encouraged and inspired by these young people as they highlight the beauty of their home … South Auckland.

 

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Te Kaupapa – the idea

A group of 10-15 students will work with author-teacher, David Riley, to create a published book. I have a number of themes which have worked well in various schools including Matariki, celebrations of home and wellbeing, or the school may have another theme they wish to explore.

The book will be published as a paperback and eBook so families and extended family can access it at home and around the world. It will be launched at the school or another venue decided by the school.

The school will select the students according to their own focus. The students might have writing, journalism or storytelling aspirations, or maybe they need encouragement with their writing or self-esteem.

Here’s a Radio NZ report of a project I did with St Mary MacKillop School in Māngere:

Te whakatutuki – the process

Where: at your school

When: I work with your writers once a week for an hour. I also give them tasks to complete during the week. The project runs for approximately one term.

Note: the project can be moved to an online format if there are changes to New Zealand’s alert levels due to COVID-19 or other disruptions.

Ngā tāngata - the people

David grew up in Māngere and has 25 years’ experience teaching English and Drama in South Auckland. David has written over 50 books for young people and run writing, reading and drama workshops with students and adults across Aotearoa and the Pacific. He’s helped a number of communities to create and publish their own books including Flat Bush School (Ōtara), St Mary MacKillop School (Māngere), Kedgley Intermediate, Panama Road School, Tangaroa College, the Auckland Tuvalu Community Trust, the Vagahau Niue Trust and the New Zealand Kiribati Trust.

“It was a great experience for me because it was the first time I ever wrote a book and it was fun writing it with an amazing group of people from my school. I had the greatest opportunity to leave a legacy for my school and to be an author this young.”

Elizabeth. Student author

Ngā paearu – how the project benefits young people

Mental wellbeing supported

Research shows that when young people feel a strong sense of belonging to the places they live, that this also helps with their mental and emotional wellbeing. This book will celebrate that. They will also see how possible it is to create books and hopefully some of them will take this knowledge and use it to create their own work in the future. The book will be launched in the school as a celebration with the students organising and running the launch.

“When David asked me about our students creating a book with his support, I immediately endorsed the project. I knew it would inspire our students. Having this experience while in primary school is amazing, and to have the chance to work with such a supportive mentor in David is life changing. Our students have been involved in the planning, designing, drafting, editing and publishing of their book. They will carry the memory of this with them as they move onto the next stage of their educational journey. Flat Bush School is very grateful to be part of this project. It has resonated in a powerful and impactful way across our school community.”

                                                Banapa Avatea. Principal. Flat Bush School

A sense of achievement and fulfilment from the creative experience

Students will learn why it’s important for all of us to know how to write well, and learn some useful writing skills including:

  • Writing brain warm ups
  • Sensational sentences
  • Dynamic dialogue
  • Fresh similes
  • Talking senses
  • Editing

 

Tamariki will experience the thrill of being published authors and hopefully some of them will be inspired to become writers and storytellers in the future. Working with a professional author-mentor who comes from South Auckland and will share with them his journey, shows the students that being a writer is achievable. The book will be launched in the school as a community celebration with the students organising and running the

“This was an amazing experience for the students. They saw the writing process authors go through and were photographers for their own book. The biggest learning was realising they can ALL write and ALL have the potential to be an author. It was definitely a confidence boost for our not so confident writers. All students felt that through writing this book, their voice would be heard by others. We now have a rich resource to use as part of our reading programme within our school and one that all students will have a connection to.”

Silo Metai-McCarthy. St Mary MacKillop School

Thriving whānau

Tamariki will write about topics of their own choosing within the overarching topic, with the assistance of their families; students will take the photos for the book with the assistance of their families; students will work together to organise the book launch and their families will be invited to participate in the launch through attendance, speaking, performing or any other ways they might like to contribute. Our families have amazing strengths in storytelling in all forms. It also gives families the opportunity to see their young people excelling as they grow in bravery, creativity, confidence and mental wellbeing. The launch will bring families and communities together to celebrate the young people and their whanau, the school and the kaupapa.

“I like sharing my stories and I want people to know how good I am and how brave I am.”

Jessica. Student author

Ngā putea – the costs

Please email me at david@readingwarrior.com to find out about the project costs.

Book launch at Tupu Library

Feedback from educators

David understands how to get young people to dig deep, process thoughts and write content in a tight package. How proud am I to see and hear our students speaking their stories and memories. To watch them processing these with ease and then work to deadlines. The end product is beautifully presented and now we have students who are published authors before they hit year 11.

Falefatu Enari

Principal. Pacific Advance Secondary School

  

I just wanted to share how much I feel honoured that you chose our school and I got to work with you, David. You showed me how to be cool, calm and collective with writing, to keep it fun and if the children are happy with it, let it be.

 Lolohea Anne Vaka. Flat Bush School

Feedback from students

What’s something good you learned about yourself as a writer from being in this project?

 

That my imagination is amazing. Nathaniel.

That I can write. Thx Tiare.

I learned that I’m pretty smart.Kairangi.

I can have more fun with my writing and less serious. Amber.

That writing is not as complicated as I thought it is. Sienna.

Writing is easier when broken down into steps. Examples make writing easier. Grace.

That writing can be fun, exciting and interesting and I have a different imagination from others and that some part of me loves writing. Tabeta.

It was fun to write so I’m this guy now Iona.

I learned that I have a good imagination, my brain runs wild! Lovania.

I have good ideas and I can do much more than I thought I could. Georgia.

I’m slowly getting better. Juleo.

That I can make a big piece of writing by putting small pieces together. Natana.