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Mrs White's latest message. If you want to read some of her old ones, click here, there are some fantastic entries!
Library column 18th October 2018
Reading and mental health
There is a recognised link between reading for pleasure and academic success, but researchers are increasingly linking reading for fun – for relaxation – with better mental health as well, not only for adults but children and teens too. Mental health issues affect many New Zealanders, including children. Research from the Youth Mental Health Project 2012 showed that:
"While most young people are resilient, 20% of young people are likely to experience a mental health issue (and,)
Depression and anxiety are quite wide-spread: one in five young New Zealanders will be affected by depression by the age of 18"
Source - Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/home/news/article/24/are-our-kiwi-kids-all-right
There is also more interest in nurturing positive mental health to prevent problems arising – ideas such as mindfulness. Nicola Morgan is a researcher who has coined the phrase "Readaxation" and is particularly interested in reading and the teen brain. A few key points from her research are that reading is an activity that absorbs a person and therefore gives them a break from internal negative thoughts; reading is a physically 'still' activity, it is likely to decrease the heart rate and lower blood pressure; and that reading leads to greater empathy for others and understanding of ourselves.
These lead me to three 'do-able' activities for families to create the best environment for wellness. First, do everything to help your child find the right book at the right time – the perfect book for your child that creates an intense absorption into another world, is key to reading being relaxing. Surround them with books, the school library, town libraries, second-hand and hand-me-downs. Secondly, allowing time in the day for reading to happen is essential, lots of opportunities to interact with books and quiet time – parents need to take the lead on creating that time. Lastly, to use books as an opportunity to talk about specific mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, peer pressure, poor self-esteem, moods and grief, which your child or someone else in the family may be experiencing.
Of course there is no magic answer and we cannot predict every turn of a person's life and what experiences they may have that impact their mental health, but talking about issues through books and being mindful that young people can benefit from reading academically and mentally, is a really positive start.
Book list for books from the Awakeri school library -
Depression – "Black dog", Levi Pinfold; "Mr Huff", Anna Walker;
Grief and depression – "The elephant", Peter Carnavas; "The sad book", Michael Rosen
0CD – "Goldfish boy", Lisa Thompson
Agoraphobia – 'The 10 pm question", Kate De Goldi
Anxiety – "Silly Billy", Anthony Browne; "Scaredy squirrel makes a friend", Melanie Watt; "Little mouse's big book of fears", Emily Gravett
Friendship – "On sudden hill", Linda Sarah; "Those darn squirrels", Adam Rubin
Self-esteem – "Small is beautiful", Werner Thuswaldner
Self-esteem, empathy – "Wonder", RJ Pallacio;
Self-esteem, social pressure – "A bad case of stripes", David Shannon: "Old hat", Emily Gravett
Empathy - "My brother Charlie", Holly Robinson Peet
Moods – "The very cranky bear", Nick Bland; "Olive and the bad mood", Tor Freedman
Mindfulness – 'The white cat and the monk", Jo Ellen Bogart; 'The Big, big sea", Martin Waddell
Happy (relaxing) Reading!
For more information about Nicola Morgan and Readaxation go to
I also recommend her book "Positively Teenage" available at the Whakatane library.
For help and information for dealing with any mental health issues
The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand has an excellent website https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/
For more information about Mindfulness
Chat line for kids and teens - 0800 What's up? 08009428787 or https://www.whatsup.co.nz/kids/
Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Healthline – 0800 611 116
Samaritans – 0800 726 666
Also a reminder about our NEW BOOK CLUB for ten year olds and up! We meet on the 1st, 4th and 8th Wednesday of each term at 8:00 before school in the library! Our first theme is Mystery books! If you would like to come along please read at least one mystery book between now and Wednesday 4th November!! Pick up a membership questionnaire from Mrs White at the library!
|Librarians at work
||Henali Patel, Sasha Cameron and Ella Murphy issuing books
|Kendall McKane returning books to the shelves
Photos from author Stacey Gregg's visit
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Kids Lit Quiz
The latest: 17 May 2018
The Kids Lit BOP regional final is at Tauranga Intermediate on Tuesday evening. We have two teams: A and B. Team A : Sophie, Asha, Sam and Oscar, team B; Issy, Addi, Olivia, Belle and Kaleb. There were 4 rounds of trials to get into the teams. The teams have been working hard, doing homework, doing practice quizzes, having morning Milo and biccie meetings, etc. One thing the teams have been doing is studying the topics that Margo secretly gave them (e.g. Issy's topic was villains, Sophie's was dogs). Each person thought of characters that were in their topic (e.g. Ursula - the sea witch, Hairy Maclary) and they went up against the two teams. We had to see who had the most original answers.
How are you feeling about the finals Sophie? "I'm nervous but excited!"
How do you think you'll do Issy? "I think we'll do pretty well. We've been practising. We've been reading lots of books and we've got a good team." Will you beat the A Team? "Hopefully! Last year we were in front of the A Team for a while."
Tell us about your coaches Sophie. " Margo and Miss Dowzall have been training us very well, giving us different homework and we know a lot more now."
Kids Lit Quiz training off to a good start for 2016!
On Tuesday 27 Oct 2015 four of the children who will be competing next year at the regional Kids Lit Quiz Competition took part in a mini quiz run by the Tauranga Intermediate. The quiz is for Tauranga teams as a warm up for the official Kids Lit Quiz in March and this is the first time Awakeri School has been invited. We were also there to share and inspire other schools with the story of our success in the International Kids Lit Quiz with the children, librarians and teachers who attended. Mrs Petersen and Mrs White gave short Power point presentations outlining the events of the last six years of KLQ for Awakeri and some details about the training we do with the teams each year. Then onto the quiz – always the most exciting part! The quiz consisted of five rounds of ten questions and Awakeri were lucky enough to hold on to a strong first round lead to win the competition! The prize of choosing three books each from the sponsor Books-A-Plenty in Tauranga plus several spot prizes of books and chocolates certainly made the day worthwhile for the team! On the return journey we stopped by to see the statues of Lynley Dodds' famous dog and cat creations along the waterfront. Here is a picture of the team with Hairy Maclary and company, from left; Ben White, Riley McDonald, Alex Robbie and Tayla Jones.
A huge congratulations to the 2014 KLQ teams. The A team won the BOP regionals, won the NZ nationals and then came 3rd in the World finals in England. Congratulations Finn Spod, Ben White, Emily and Alex Robbie, also coaches Ann Petersena and Margo White. To check out our past glorious KLQ history go to the Academic archives page.
Here the four students write about their experiences in England:
Our long and exciting journey started all the way back in Term 3 last year. Each week we would spend one lunch time being quizzed to find the top 8 students in our school with good literature knowledge. When the teams were chosen our fantastic coaches Mrs Petersen and Margo quizzed us in teams and gave us heaps of ideas and books to read.
In May, we competed in the regional competition where schools from throughout the Bay of Plenty battled to be B.O.P champions and for the cash prize of $1000 and the chance to compete at the national quiz.
The next quiz, which was in Wellington was much harder, not only were we competing against the best teams in NZ, the questions were much more complicated and we had to buzz in before the other teams to answer a question. We only won that quiz by one question.
As national champions we were given the chance to compete in England for the Kids’ Lit World Cup. We started training every school day, with Margo and Mrs Petersen always giving us something new to learn, they gave us information about authors and illustrators, suggested different books to read and websites to investigate about books and nursery rhymes.
Then early last month, we were off to England. Going to England is not cheap, and with only 3 weeks to raise enough money for 6 people to travel it would have been almost impossible without the help of so many great sponsors.
The Quiz, the reason for it all, the battle of the readers happened on the Tuesday of the trip. On the morning of the Quiz, we all dressed in our handsome uniforms and got on the coach, bound for the Princess Pavilion. After a practise run through of the quiz with mock questions, we begin to get a bit, no, a lot nervous. The teams filed onto the stage, Australia, Canada, us, Singapore, South Africa, UK and finally USA.
Finally, we were all seated at our tables awaiting the last Kids’ Lit Quiz for 2014, the world final. After what seemed like a bagillion years sitting at our table with Lord Ripper, our team mascot, the two Steves introduced the man who made it happen, quizmaster Wayne Mills and the Quiz could begin at last. After the first category we were doing quite well but at half time we were coming dead last. During the second half we started to creep up the score board and by the end we were pretty sure we were third although they don’t show the score in the last round. Sure enough they called us up for third and we were proud beyond words, far beyond words.
When we were in Cornwall, the teams and their coaches got treated to a week of fun activities around the glorious city. On Sunday we went to Glendurgan Gardens and the teams loved doing the maze and going on the Giant’s Stride, a huge six person swing. On Monday we visited Heartlands which is a big mining museum with a great playground, and then we went to Pendennis castle, where we met a historian/author called Steph Haxton. On Wednesday we went to Restormel castle and Swanpool beach, where the teams got to go kayaking and bell-boating, which is like rowing a waka. On Thursday we went to the Minack Theatre and a castle called St Michaels Mount, which is in the middle of the ocean. On Friday we went to a fascinating place called the Eden project, where we learnt all about plants, and how they are used.
Travelling to England as a member of the NZ National Kids’ Lit Quiz team has been a great social experience and an excellent way to meet new friends from around the world. Some of the highlight memories were getting used to the weird and wonderful accents, being invited by the Canadian team for a breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup, learning new games from other countries and running through a hedge maze with new friends. One Canadian boy was a master magician and could make a coin appear from behind your ear, an Australian member was amazing at soccer, and a Singaporean was an excellent photographer. During the week of activities everyone became really good mates through jumping off rocks into the freezing cold English Channel, playing manhunt in a 13th Century castle ruins and ultimately, the quiz world final and celebratory Gala dinner.
Some of the things we will take away from this once-in-a-lifetime experience apart from memories and photos are that we now have a new network of friends to keep in touch with for future adventures. We have also had a taste of city life and all that goes along with it, like crowds, riding the London underground and navigating through train stations and airports. We’ve had opportunities to chat with famous authors and our eyes have been opened wide to the knowledge that can be learned from books and world travel.
|3rd in the World. Wow!
Mrs Petersen, Emily, Alex, Ben,
Finn and Mrs White represent their school and country with
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FLYING LIKE A BIRD
Milky white clouds, as soft as a new merino jersey,
Stretches of treetops below me,
I soar on golden wings,
close to the dazzling sun,
When I screech, the sound echoes around canyons and valleys,
Breathtaking sights unfold before me,
The life of a bird is magnificent.
Some responses to The Hobbit from Room 14:
Bilbo is good, I think mainly, because he is too nice to be EVIL!!!!
Bilbo has a very big role in The Hobbit, well, because he is the Hobbit. He is the lucky 14th person in this adventure.
Bilbo is like me in a few ways.
First off, at the start of the book, he is quiet and would rather be at home with a book in front of the fire than be outside in the cold, adventuring.
Bilbo is also like me in another way. His Baggins side is quiet, calm, respectable and scared of adventuring. But his Took side is adventurous, outgoing and daring. Like him, I am quiet and don't like to go too far outside my comfort zone. But on the other hand, I am adventurous, love exploring and I love the feel of adrenalin running through my veins.
So comb your foot hair and relax for an awesome book.
With his teeth like splinters and eyes like moons, Gollum is actually quite a fearsome character. I mean, he sits in the dark with a magic invisibility ring on, stalking stray goblins. I love the way he is so easily surprised. One minute he's about to eat someone, the next, he's sitting on the floor bawling! But for a low life creature like him he's pretty smart. I wonder where he got those riddles and where did he find the ring? So much is not known about him. What was his real name before he took on Gollum? I felt quite sorry for him. Sitting in a cave, catching fish and goblins all alone in the dark must get very lonely. Still, he is a horrible thing. His raspy voice is really freaky. The way he talks makes himself sound like a horror movie.
So anyway, "Make hassste, make hassste," and stop reading this before Gollum gets you!
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