Kiwi kids encouraged to enjoy the magic of books

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Blind Low Vision NZ is encouraging Kiwi kids to find the magic in books through the Great Kiwi Bookathon, a new initiative to get Kiwis reading through the month of June while raising much-needed funds for kids and their families living with vision loss.

Registrations are open now for parents/caregivers to sign their kids, and themselves, up to read as many books as they can in June.

Even the most reluctant reader is encouraged to participate in the Great Kiwi Bookathon, have fun and find the joy of reading.

Participants are encouraged to fundraise what they can. Register online at:

Blind Low Vision NZ provides Kiwis who are blind, deafblind or have low vision, with the practical and emotional support to do the things they need and want to do.

This includes an accessible library full of audiobooks and adaptive technology services that can turn text into speech or braille.

There is also counselling to support families adjusting to changes in their life and the outlook ahead.

Renowned Kiwi author Joy Cowley has teamed up with Blind Low Vision NZ for the Great Kiwi Bookathon and is excited to see the initiative inspire a passion for books in younger generations.

She is also a client of Blind Low Vision NZ and has macular degeneration so it is a cause close to her heart.

"Opening a book is like travelling to a new country. I meet new people in that book, see different environments, learn new skills and have new adventures," Joy says.

"Think of the adventures you can have when you read books. Will you climb a mountain? Raise a wild horse? Be a detective? Win the Grand Prix?"

New Zealand’s literacy rates have been declining for years, and Blind Low Vision NZ hopes to see the Great Kiwi Bookathon reignite interest in reading.

Parents are encouraged to read to their kids as part of it.

There is no prescribed reading list for the Great Kiwi Bookathon, and anything that can be read end to end can be logged, including comics, magazines, picture books, textbooks and novels.

Reading can be logged from June 1, and participants can earn badges for milestones along the way, including books read and donations received. A leaderboard on the website will show the top fundraisers.

Blind Low Vision NZ chief executive John Mulka is proud to be launching a new fundraising initiative and can’t wait to see kids and their families reading and having fun.

"Blind Low Vision NZ and the families we support are all extremely grateful to everyone who joins the Great Kiwi Bookathon.

"We hope they find a little magic in every story while raising money for children who are blind, deafblind or have low vision and their families."

For more information about the Great Kiwi Bookathon, visit:

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