Books for the Cooks- thanks Rotary

Rotarians Mark Willyams (Alexandra), Nicola Brown (Wānaka), and Grant Lunn (Cromwell) with the pallet of books destined for Rarotonga | Rotary Club of Wānaka

The Rotary Club of Wānaka has teamed up with Rotary Clubs in Cromwell and Alexandra to support a school in the Cook Islands by stocking their shelves full of books.

The Apii Nikoa school was built two years ago, and it’s library has no shelving and no books, a fact uncovered after a chance meeting between the Rotary Club’s presidents and Rotary Club Rarotonga president Greg Amos.

“Greg told us that their Rotary Club had put some books into a medical centre waiting room for people to swap and drop. He said that many villages do not have public libraries and that the Cook Islands government had a goal to improve literacy rates,” said Deb Budden president of Rotary Club Wānaka.

Wānaka member Alan Richardson visited the Cook Islands and met with the Rotary Club of Rarotonga who introduced him to Apii Nikoa School.

“From there the idea just blossomed,” said Budden. “We knew we had to do something, so we engaged with the Rotary Club’s in Alexandra and Cromwell and sought a grant from our Rotary District. Next minute we had $11,000 and more books than we knew what to do with”.

New books were purchased for the Apii Nikoa school library and two pallets of quality second-hand books, to be used in Lilliput libraries in the villages, have been shipped to the Cook Islands. “There are about 40 banana boxes of books on each pallet holding about 1,600 books,” said Rotary Club Wānaka’s foundation committee incoming director Nicola Brown.

 On arrival in Rarotonga, the Rotary Club will fix promotional decals (printed in Central Otago) to commercial glass-fronted fridges which will house the second-hand books and act as book exchange or “Lilliput library” in the villages.

The principal of Apii Nikao school, Elizabeth Kapi, said her school’s parent-teachers association (PTA) was excited to receive “this huge and generous donation”.

“On behalf of all our students, teachers and school community, meitaki maata for this wonderful gift,” said Kapi.

The Apii Nikoa school community will install shelving in the school’s library to house the nearly 600 new fiction and non-fiction books. “These will be a huge start to the school’s library collection,” said Budden.

Read edition 981 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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