Book Fair timetable and speakers announced!

Scholastic Book Fair Logo for T2 2014
Scholastic Book Fair Logo for T2 2014

We can now announce our timetable for speakers and events in our Book Fair Week! Parents and whanau, please do come and join us for any of these exciting events – we would love you to come along and be part of this celebration of reading!

Scholastic books will be on sale in Room 3 throughout the week, from 2.30pm to 3.45pm each day. On Thursday we will be open from 2.30pm-5.30pm and then after the PFA AGM. A percentage of sales comes back to the school in the form of new library books – parents, grandparents, whanau – please support the library by purchasing books!

The children will be given the opportunity to make a list of books they would love to own, and these lists will be available at the Book Fair on request. Classrooms will also have a list of books which can be bought and donated to classrooms. This is a wonderful way to contribute to the children’s learning. If these times don’t suit you, let the office know and we can arrange another time for you.

Monday 9th June

9.30am Katherine Milburn, Hocken Collections, talking about preserving history

12.10pm Peter Chin, former Dunedin mayor, reading to the children

Tuesday 10th June

12 noon Oceana Gold Nuggets, members of Otago Basketball team, reading to children

2pm Mr Tili, Samoan Sasa (sitting drum dance) workshop

Wed 11th June

9.30am Majella Cullinane, Robert Burns Fellow, creative writing

12 noon El Grego, Entertaining the children with magic

Thursday 12th June

9.30am Elizabeth Pulford, local writer, of Lily and other children’s and adult books

11.15am Ann Cronin, Science Communicator, using zombies to facilitate learning

2pm Sheralyn Weepers, Maori Resource Teacher , reading Maori myth, with korero

5.30pm PFA AGM, BYO Supper, Literacy expert Joan Turner talking to parents.

Children – please dress up as your favourite book character, and enjoy a DVD and popcorn after supper. Then – cake!

Friday 13th June

Dress-up Friday – children, please come as your favourite book character

9.30am Dunedin City Public Library, Zac & Wendy (Children’s Team), about the Library

11.15am Phillippa Duffy, Manager University Bookshop and former editor, reads to children

2pm Janet Pereira, Localwriter, reading her first publication, Blackie the Fisher-Cat.

Sacred Heart School Book Fair 9th-13th June

Scholastic Book Fair Logo for T2 2014
Scholastic Book Fair Logo for T2 2014

In spite of the weather, things are hotting up as we approach the Book Fair! Our theme, Reading Oasis: A Cool Place to Discover Hot Books, is certainly looking appropriate.

Come and warm yourself up at one of our events, or browse through our books for sale – a percentage of sales comes back to the school in the form of new library books – parents, grandparents, whanau – please support the library by purchasing books!!!

Our events include visiting speakers:

  • Peter Chin: former Dunedin mayor who has visited us for our last Book Fair, and the children greatly enjoyed his reading and discussion
  • Ann Cronin: University of Otago PhD student, neuropharmacologist and science communicator who uses zombies to facilitate learning!
  • Majella Cullinane – poet and current recipient of the Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago who is working on her first novel
  • Philippa Duffy: General Manager at University Bookshop, formerly at Craig Potton Publishing and recently involved in the Writers and Readers Festival in Dunedin
  • Dunedin City Library: Zac and Wendy will be coming to read to the children and talk about the vast range of books and other material available to borrow, in hard copy or electronically
  • Katherine Milburn: Hocken Collections – how our history is preserved in writing and certainly tells a story!
  • Oceania Gold Nuggets: A favourite story or two from Otago’s premier basketball team, and open to questions about basketball!
  • Sheralyn Weepers: Resource Teachers of Maori in Otago/Nga Takawaenga Matauranga ki Otago, who will inspire the children with Maori legends
  • Janet Pereira: Dunedin author of children’s books, including the very successful and beautiful picture book, “Blackie the Fisher Cat”
  • Elizabeth Pulford: Award-winning writer of children’s and adult books, based in Waikouaiti, who has created the amazing Lily series, as well as other wonderful children’s titles.


Other activities include:

  • Storytelling through Samoan Sasa (sitting drum dance) – A day at Sacred Heart (thank you Mr Tili! )
  • Art and Writing Competitions, with prizes for first and second places in each class
  • Dress-up Friday – come as your favourite book character (also at PFA AGM – see below)

Parents are welcome at any and all of the above events, and we will send out a timetable in advance.

And don’t forget the PFA AGM on Thursday 12th June, 5.30pm, BYO supper, followed by a very engaging guest speaker Joan Turner, a highly respected expert in literacy and consultant to Otago University College of Education. Joan will talk about literacy across all areas of the school, how the emphasis changes and how parents can assist children at home. Book character dress-up for children on the evening, and through Friday!


From your Book Fair Organisers

Megan Millar-Coote, Sarah Gallagher and Kate Wilson

Book Fair coming soon to our school!

The Scholastic Book Fair® will be at our school in the week commencing Monday 9 June. The exciting theme for our 2014 Book Fair is “Reading Oasis: A Cool Place to Discover Hot Books!”

Scholastic Book Fair Logo for T2 2014

Our Book Fair will be a journey back to Ancient Egypt overflowing with hundreds of book treasures just waiting to be discovered. We hope you will join us as we help students discover the power of reading. We have very special events planned for that week, including:

  • Competitions
  • Dress-up day for the children
  • Visits from writers and others involved in the many aspects of books and story-telling

We will be displaying books for sale in Room 3, and this will be open at drop-off and pick-up times We will have some extended hours including on the night of our PFA social and AGM (Thursday 12th June – BYO supper).

The school will receive a percentage of sales and this will be used specifically to buy new books for the school library.  If you have some time to help us during the Book Fair please let the office know which areas you might like to be involved in:

  • Helping to set up – on Friday 6th June, and/or over the weekend
  • Going on a roster to sell books during the week – at 3-3.30pm, and an extended afternoon, or some mornings.
  • Helping to pack up in the following week

Please support our school library, and your child’s reading, by purchasing some excellent Scholastic children’s books. Encourage friends and grandparents to come along – it’s a great opportunity for stock-piling presents.

Look out for more notices in the coming weeks!

What’s your favourite book or series?

We’d really like to hear about the books you’d like to see in the school library. We’ll be applying for funding in the next couple of months, but we need a list of books before we can make an application.

We keen to hear from the whole school community: children, families and teachers – please share your ideas here: they can be fiction, or non-fiction, reference books or picture books, you can also suggest other materials like audio books if you want to.

Please fill in the recommendation form.

Thanks for your help, I’m excited to see what everyone suggests!
Sarah Gallagher

A reading challenge for the summer

CC BY SA Peter Rohleder
Taking You Places is the Dunedin Public Library’s Summer Reading programme this year. It started on Saturday 14 December 2013 and runs until Sunday 26 January 2014.

You can join the programme for free at the library. Everyone who joins will ” fun-filled booklet, full of supportive ideas and activities, book lists and a diary to record and rate their progress.” So join up, set your reading target, and at the end of the programme hand in your booklet. If you reached your challenge the librarians will give you a prize – how fun!

Find out more about the programme and how Toitu and University Bookshop are also involved. You can also write a story and have it published on the Library website!

Visit from Craig Smith!

On Tuesday 19th November at 2.00pm we had a visit from a very special New Zealand song writer, singer, and author, Craig Smith.

Craig said he is a musician first, and then he makes some of his songs into books. He’s inspired by Neil YoungBob DylanCat Stevens, and singing with his Mum and Nana. He visits lots if schools and libraries when he’s touring, the biggest school had 1300 kids, and the smallest had only 4 kids!

Craig stayed for an hour with us and played lots of his songs, and signed books the children had brought along or purchased on the day. Everyone had a wonderful time.

Craig takes questions from the children.
Craig takes questions from the children.

Many children has questions for Craig, like:

Q: How do you get so many interesting words?
A: Craig uses a Rhyming Dictionary (try this rhyming dictionary!)

Q: How do you make the drop found?
A: (This is difficult to describe!)

Q: What inspired you to write the wonky donkey?
A: It started with a joke!

Q: What inspired you to write Wilby the Bumblebee?
A: Craig’s Mum gave him the idea, but also watching nature is a good inspiration

A key message from Craig was for everyone to “keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration”. That sounds like a great idea.

Library launch and blessing

On the evening of the PFA Barn Dance, I had an opportunity to talk with the school community about the redevelopment of the School Library on behalf of the group who’ve been working on the project over the last year.


Many thanks to Paul Richardson, Megan Millar-Coote (BOT Chair), Megan La Hood, Elizabeth Helm, Moira Gallagher, Maxine Ramsay (National Library Services to Schools), the School Fair committee and people behind other fundraising opportunities that have (or will) benefit the library. Many others have provided support through donations and sharing of ideas. Thank you for your dedication to the redevelopment of the school library, this is a whole community project that will benefit everyone, especially our children.

If you were unable to attend the talk, the presentation is available below. We’re really keen to hear your ideas and receive your recommendations for books / materials for the library. We still have a lot to do and it’s going to continue to be an evolving process. If you have ideas you’d like to share, please get in touch. [Sarah Gallagher]



We were very fortunate to have Fr. Aidan join us for the presentation, and to bless the library. Fr. Aidan read three blessings from “A Book of Blessings” by Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (p120-1, 163). You can hear him reading a blessing of the books in this video.