Students at Kaitaia Primary School had some special guests for their Duffy Books in Homes day - a visit from Duffy Ambassador and actor Regan Taylor.

Duffy kids at school always get excited when the Duffy Books in Homes team arrives - it means they're each getting new books to take home.

But the latest assembly at the end of term 3 had an added thrill at Kaitaia. D Taylor was there to help hand out the books and explain that one of them could be the 13 millionth book that has been handed out to children just like them during the past 25 years.

Linda Vagana, the CEO of Duffy Books in Homes, said the small team couldn't do without the ambassador's support.


"It gives the kids a thrill and they are always amazed to hear some of the ambassador's tell their own stories about growing up," Vagana said.

"This time they heard that we have grown a big family of Duffy kids just like them during the past 25 years and some of those people have gone on to do amazing things."

Duffy Books in Homes was created by New Zealand author Alan Duff after he visited a Hawke's Bay school in 1992 to discover that most of the pupils did not have books at home and didn't seem to have any interest in reading. He immediately thought that they needed to learn about the joy of reading and discovery.

By 1994 a charitable foundation had been formed and registered with the Charities Commission. Since the official launch event in 1995 the programme has grown to encompass more than 500 schools and 280 early childhood centres, more than 100,000 students and more than 200 funding partners, supporters and donors.

"It took four years to reach our first millionth book but has accelerated to the point that we will have given away 13 million books and the programme has inspired offshoots in Australia and the United States," Vagana said.

Duffy Books is instantly recognised by the Duffy character and the song, which can be found on Apple Music and Spotify.

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