Books bound for Cook Is

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A quiet read near the Nikao Lagoon on Rarotonga will be a little easier thanks to a donation by the combined rotary clubs of Wanaka, Alexandra and Cromwell.
About 600 new books are being shipped to the Apii Nikao primary school on Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands.

Rotary Club of Wanaka president Deb Budden said the idea of providing books for the school blossomed after a meeting between Rotary Club of Wanaka member Alan Richardson and Rotary Club of Rarotonga president Greg Amos.

The school was built about two years ago but was lacking books and shelving.
“We knew we had to do something so we engaged with the Rotary clubs 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”.

Apii Nikao school principal Elizabeth Kapi, said her school’s parent teachers association was excited to receive “this huge and generous donation”.
“On behalf of all our students, teachers and school community, meitaki maata (thank you very much) for this wonderful gift,” she said.

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

As well as buying books for Apii Nikao school library, two pallets of good quality second-hand books have been shipped to the Cook Islands.

Many villages did not have public libraries and the Cook Island’s Government had a goal to improve literacy rate, so the local Rotary club had repurposed disused commercial glass-fronted fridges, making them safe and turning them into ‘‘Lilliput libraries” .

Rotary Club of Wanaka’s foundation committee incoming director Nicola Brown said there were about 40 banana boxes of books on each pallet, a total of about 3200 books to be used in the Lilliput libraries.

Promotional decals printed in Central Otago would be stuck to the doors of the fridges, helping identify them as libraries.