Ashburton College is on a mission to promote reading as a normal part of everyday life.
Some posters put together by English teacher Clare Naden harness the cool factor of the school’s First XV rugby team to spread the joy of reading among students.
“I really wanted to make a positive connection, especially for the lads, so I thought if I can transpose the idea from one arena of life to the next, then it might help,” says Clare.
“I wanted to make reading as normal as sport. So as part of trying to get boys to read we decided to photograph them with books.”
Ashburton College also has a reading mentors scheme which involves senior students reading to small groups of juniors.
“We entice them to this scheme with food, which adds to the idea of reading being fun and pleasurable.”
Another poster campaign depicts teachers reading while doing their favourite things.
“This caused a stir at school because all of a sudden our cooking teacher reading a book while sitting in a kayak - no one expected that - then there was the teacher out hunting-he had a possum reading his book.”
The photos of the rugby players reading books were made into posters with positive slogans about reading and put up around the school.
Slogans include: ‘Take a kid to the FOOTY' (crossed out and replaced with 'LIBRARY') and ‘Readers are Leaders.’
There are plans afoot to make a new batch of posters with the school’s PolyFest, kapa haka group and volleyball team, and to make them into postcards to send to parents.