IPU New Zealand continues to give to Palmerston North, and to celebrate its 30th anniversary, staff and students have teamed up to create a series of read-along story videos of children's books.

The first book being promoted is Poupelle of Chimney Town by Akihiro Nishino.

Originally written in Japanese, the book has already been translated into 20 languages.

Languages read by IPU include: English, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Portuguese and Russian.


Music for the videos was played by IPU student Atsugi Shige.

On August 6 a group of IPU students visited the BestStart early learning centre in Palmerston North for a live reading to a group of children as well as a performance from the popular Kodama Japanese drum team.

The young children seemed to have a fun time making sound with the drums before settling in to enjoy the story read by one of the students.

IPU student support manager Janene Davidson, who is co-ordinating the visits, said the diversity of students in educational settings is part of the New Zealand way of life.

"We want to reach all ages and children from all backgrounds in New Zealand with this book.

"Visiting the BestStart centre helps answer this desire to recognise a child's identity through music and culture, which also is vital to the child's wellbeing and development.

"Reading this book at BestStart and taking the Kodama drum team with us means that we have been able to contribute both music and culture to our younger members of the community."

There are several more live reading events scheduled for the local community in the coming weeks.


IPU's mission for the project is to give Manawatū children inclusive access to stories in their native language read by local people, raising the awareness and importance of language for the youth of the region, and to celebrate the cultural diversity of its campus in IPU's 30th year.

A sign language and te reo Māori version are in the works to add to the current collection, including New Zealand's languages in the official translations of the story.