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Spreading the word . . . Oamaru Kindergarten Association general manager Julie Craig (left) and Anglican Family Care team leader Sue Dundass are keen for the ``travelling books'' to make their way around the district. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

“Read it, love it, pass it on.”

Free books have been made available for children in Oamaru to take home then pass on to others.

Baskets of books are being placed around Oamaru at sites where children are likely to be present. The “travelling books” were donated to the Laps not Apps programme, run jointly by S.K.I.P Waitaki, the Oamaru Kindergarten Association and Anglican Family Care.

Its request for books in March resulted in more than 2000 being sent in, to be given to families known to be in need. The three agencies hoped they would encourage parents to spend time reading to their children and enriching their relationship, as well as improving children’s literacy.

The surplus was sorted into crates that were dropped off at kindergartens, the schools’ dental clinic, Plunket rooms, Work and Income, the Probation service, Literacy Aotearoa, Waitaki Community Mental Health, Public Health and the Oamaru Kindergarten Association’s offices.

They were places where children were likely to be waiting with parents or caregivers and could pick up a book to read, Anglican Family Care team leader Sue Dundass said.

If they have not finished the book by the time they leave, they can simply take it with them.

The book can be taken back to where it came from, handed to friends or family members, or put into any of the other crates around town.

Each book has a sticker on it, urging people to “read it, love it, pass it on”.

Mrs Dundass and kindergarten association general manager Julie Craig were thinking of other possible drop-off places for the crates in Oamaru, and were taking the project further afield to Kurow and Hampden.

They have also received Waitaki District Council approval to set up outdoor book stations at playgrounds throughout the district.

“We’ve got a couple of the dads on board to help to make the bookcases,” Ms Craig said.

Anyone wanting to have travelling books at their premises can contact the Laps not Apps Facebook page: facebook.com/lapsnotappswaitaki.