Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa.

Greetings to you all.

This week marks the annual cultural celebrations Te wiki o te reo Maori, an event which is a pivotal part of Central Otago classrooms.

Children at Alexandra Primary School are among those celebrating the occasion this week.

The school has a range of activities planned over the coming days, including reading a new collection of books introduced by the Ministry of Education.

The books are bilingual. They feature a te reo Maori version of the story in the first half of the book, followed by an English version in the second half.

Class sets were delivered to the school last week, including one titled Taku Whanau (My Family).

Years 1-3 teacher Anne Batchelor said the books were a great resource. Having stories in both te reo Maori and English would be great for teachers using them as a learning tool.

“Often, we get resources completely in te reo Maori.”

Miss Batchelor said having both languages available would help speed up the learning process, for both the children and the teachers.

There are 20 books in each class set, along with a big book for the entire class to read from in a group setting.

This week will be the first time the children get to explore the books, she said.

“We talked about them and they were excited ..” Miss Batchelor said.

Maori Language Week has been celebrated each year since 1975.

It coincides with Maori Language Day on September 14, which commemorates the presentation of the 1972 Maori Language petition to Parliament.

It asked for active recognition of te reo Maori.

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