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Cake cutting, rugby heroes inspire young Crusader

12 April 2005

Children throughout the Crusaders rugby players franchise will be buried deep in their books this week to meet the deadline for entries in this year’s Reading Crusade – a partnership between Christchurch City Libraries and the Rebel Sport Super 12 2005 rugby team.

Entry forms for the Crusade must be with Christchurch City Libraries by 5pm, this Friday 15 April.  For each entry form, the children must read eight fiction or non-fiction books before they can go in the draw to be a Crusader for the day and win a range of other prizes.

So far, the Libraries have received almost 4000 entries involving 220 schools from Canterbury, the West Coast, Buller, Nelson and Marlborough.

Among the most enthusiastic Reading Crusaders spotted by the libraries has been a young boy called Shayde, who helped the Crusaders cut the cake at the event’s launch. Shadye hadn’t been much of a reader but arrived at the launch with a backpack full of his own sporting trophies for the Crusaders to sign.

By the time he had cut the cake and had his photograph taken with his heroes, he was one of the Reading Crusade’s biggest fans.  Although he told his teacher that getting through the eight titles would be tough, he has sent in three Reading Crusade entry forms.

A number of pupils at Wairakei School are among other children to have been excited by the Crusade, principal Lee McArthur said. ‘One of our school targets this year is to improve reading comprehension and the Crusade is proving to be a marvellous way of getting children to read more,” she said.

To encourage the children to read their way through eight books or more the school has been giving an award for the top Reading Crusader of the week. Two Wairakei School children have also received spot prizes from the Christchurch City Libraries as part of the wider campaign.

Every child in the Crusaders franchise catchment, who takes part in the Reading Crusade receives a certificate, printed with the signatures of the Rebel Sport Super 12 rugby team.  The prizegiving for the Crusade will be held at Jade Stadium on Wednesday 4 May.

More information about the Reading Crusade is available on the website Favourite reads from the Crusaders and reading suggestions from children who have already entered the Crusade are included on the site, along with the entry form and a map showing the schools that have taken up the challenge. Entry forms are also available from all Christchurch City Libraries

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