Beyond the NYR12 vids

Last post I showed you some of the videos available from the National Year of Reading (NYR12) website and YouTube channel (see: “NYR12 vids”). But there are lots more videos out there.

NYR12 has not only promoted the joy of books and reading, it has also encouraged others to do so. And so many people across Australia have taken up that challenge — to spread the word and to promote reading.

Timothy Chan, an official Friend of NYR12, took it upon himself to coordinate a unique project — Love2ReadTV. He banded together numerous NYR12 Friends, getting each of them to record a video about the importance of reading in their lives. He has then edited those videos together into a series of webisodes and posted them to the Love2ReadTV website. There are three episodes, so far.

Episode One features Adam Wallace (author of Dawn of the Zombie Knights), Deby Adair, Mick Walsh, Morgan Schatz Blackrose and Meredith Costain (author of Bed Tails and the A Year In Girl Hell series).

Episode Two features: Nicky Johnston (author/illustrator of Happy Thoughts are Everywhere), Dee White (author of Letters to Leonardo), George Ivanoff (that would be me) and Juliet M Sampson (author of Behind the Mask).

Episode Three features: Peter Cawdron, Narrelle M Harris (author of Walking Shadows), Ron & Margaret Sharp and Alice Pung (author of Growing Up Asian in Australia).

And there are still two more episodes to go. But wait, that’s not all. There’s also a special librarians episode:

Go to YouTube and search for “National Year of Reading 2012”. You’ll find lots of other videos created by people and organisations to celebrate NYR12.

Do you have a favourite NYR12 video? Share it in the comments section below.

Catch ya later,  George

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NYR12 vids

Time for some videos. Specifically, some videos dealing with the National Year of Reading (NYR12).

“I want Australia to be many things: a prosperous nation, an innovative nation, but I certainly want us to be a reading nation… I want every Australian to know the joy and pleasure that comes from books and reading.”
Julia Gillard, PM

Throughout this year, the NYR12 initiative has been aiming to do just that — spread the joy and pleasure that comes from books and reading. Given that 2012 will be coming to an end in just over two months, I thought that now would be a good time for a post about NYR12. So, I had a look at their YouTube channel and picked out some of their vids to show you.

Lets start off with the simple little promo that’s been online since September last year:

NYR12 has over 100 ambassadors promoting reading across the country. Many of them have recorded messages to share via the NYR12 site. Here’s one from their patron, actor and author William McInnes:

Hazel Edwards, author of many books for kids, teens and adults, is probably best known for her picture book, There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake. But she is also the co-author of the controversial (and utterly brilliant) YA novel about a teen who is transitioning gender from female to male, f2m: the boy within. Here’s her message:

Alison Lester, author and illustrator of books such as Sophie Scott Goes South and Noni the Pony, has this to say:

There are also messages from people involved with library administration. For example, Sue Hutley, Executive Director of the Australian Library and Information Association:

Finally, let’s go back to the beginning with a speech from the launch of NYR12 at the National Library of Australia in Canberra. I felt that, given her recent news-making speech, it would be rather appropriate to let our Prime Minister Julia Gillard have the last word:

Catch ya later,  George

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More NYR12

In my last post I introduced the National Year of Reading (NYR12) and interviewed NYR12 National Ambassador Hazel Edwards (see “The National Year of Reading”). Today I’ve got two more Ambassadors for you — ACT Ambassador Tania McCartney and NSW Ambassador Susanne Gervay.

How did you become involved with the National Year of Reading?

Tania:

Literacy is a personal passion of mine, and was one of the reasons I founded Kids Book Review. When I first heard about the National Year of Reading, I was ecstatic and immediately knew I wanted to help in some way. Soon after NYR12 was announced, Kids Book Review became a partner and I became a friend of the initiative. I began posting updates on both KBR and my own blog, and late last year, the NYR12 organisers contacted me about becoming an ambassador for the ACT. It was truly one of my proudest moments as an author.

Susanne:

As an author Ambassador for Room to Read, bringing literacy and books to the children of the developing world; and Role Model for Books in Homes, taking books to indigenous and disadvantaged children, it was wonderful to accept the role of an ambassador for the National Year of Reading. I love it.

Why is this initiative important to you?

Tania:

Books are an enormous part of my life, and always have been. They simply make my heart race, and I knew very early on that I wanted to be an author. Being able to read is like oxygen to me. Reading has nurtured me, educated me, expanded me, delighted me, even saved me. It has taken me to greater heights than I ever dreamed possible. Every person should have this oxygen available to them.

Literacy is not vital in this communications-driven world, it is life-changing and magical. Full literacy stands between a potentially average life and a great life – in more ways than can be covered here. I believe that – next to love, food and shelter – literacy is a basic human need, and a right that all children should be well-versed in. Shockingly, 46 per cent of Australians do not have full literacy, and the majority are adults. This needs to change – and NYR12 is helping make that happen.

Susanne:

As a children’s author and a writer, mother and teacher, reading is so important to literacy, critical thinking and understanding the world and our place in it. The National Year of Reading is significant in raising the profile of our public libraries and connecting to organisations and supporters of reading, including Room to Read, the Writers’ Centres, school libraries, NIDA, bookstores, CBCA, CAL, Aboriginal Literacy Fund, publishers and so many more. It’s truly a nationwide celebration of reading.

What will you be doing as a National Year of Reading Ambassador?

Tania:

I will be attending the 14 February launch at the National Library of Australia, and we’re planning on having a small tie-in to the event with my new book for the NLA – Australian Story: an illustrated timeline. I’m in talks with local NYR12 representatives to host a launch event for children at Civic Library around the same time, and we’re also planning on a promotional event at Government House Open Day in March. In May I’ll be promoting Beijing Tai Tai (Exisle Publishing) in Sydney and will give talks at local libraries about the initiative. I’ll be in promo mode during Book Week in August, and will organise more local events through the year, including school and library visits that encourage children to read. I’m currently running Bedtime Stories for Australian Women Online [www.australianwomenonline.com] – a NYR12 writing initiative that encourages adults reading to children –and this year’s Kids Book Review Unpublished Manuscript Award will be used to promote NYR12. I’ll also be continuing to spread the word and post updates on NYR12 via the various blogs and sites I write for.

Susanne:

I’ll be there at the launch of the National Year of Reading on 14th February at the State Library in Sydney. There will be launches across Australia. I have events already scheduled including speaking engagements from Woollahra Council Library Sydney to Taree Council on the NSW coast. There will be a tour of libraries later in the year. I will promote the National Year of Reading on my blog and at the events I attend. As the festival Director of the Children’s and Young Adult Literature festival at the NSW Writers Centre, I will be promoting the National Year of reading. The best part is that I’ll be reading books and encourage others to read as well!

My thanks to Susanne and Tanya.

To find out more about Susanne, check out her website. To find out more about Tanya, check out her website.

In the meantime, get reading! 🙂

Catch ya later,  George

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The National Year of Reading

2012 is the National Year of Reading in Australia. It is a collaborative initiative, involving public libraries, government, community groups, media and commercial partners. There are heaps of activities planned for the coming year. And it all gets officially launched on 14 February.

But what’s it all about? Well here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth. The National Year of Reading 2012 (NYR12) website has this to say:

The National Year of Reading 2012 is about children learning to read and keen readers finding new sources of inspiration. It’s about supporting reading initiatives while respecting the oral tradition of storytelling. It’s about helping people discover and rediscover the magic of books. And most of all, it’s about Australians becoming a nation of readers.

Author and actor, William McInnes, is the NYR12 Patron. But there are over 50 other NYR12 Ambassadors who will be out and about, promoting reading throughout the year. These include authors, illustrators, politicians and sportspeople — such as AFL footballer Phil Davis; former PM and current MP, Kevin Rudd; and radio presenters Scotty and Nige.

To kick off the NYR12 here at Literary Clutter, I approached National Ambassador Hazel Edwards with a few questions.

How did you become involved with the National Year of Reading?

I’m a readaholic. In any format — E or page or audio. The Love2Read people invited me to be a National Ambassador since I write in different formats, like performance literacy scripts, picture books, etc and for different audiences including adults, YA (adolescents) and young readers. So families can share the gift of imagination, and read embassassing moments from their history, I run workshops in Writing Non Boring Family Histories or Writing for Your Grandkids. I’ve also been involved in Skype web chats with rural adolescents in connection with the controversial YA novel f2m: the boy within (co-written with Ryan Kennedy) about transitioning gender, so I’m keen on innovative ways of encouraging those not yet readaholics.

Why is this initiative important to you?

Reading makes you more tolerant of others who are different. Reading gives you thinking skills and ways of solving problems. Skills give you confidence. I have two grandsons for whom I write a story each year. The last one was “Henry-Garnet the Serial-Sock-Puller” for the 1 year old. (He’s moved up to pulling his shoes off now.)

I link writing and reading. I’ve also featured a non-reader Art, as the hero in my junior e-mysteries Project Spy Kids. Art is an ace problem-solver. Illustrator Jane Connory has developed some merchandise for ‘cool’ screen reading and a Design Your Own Mystery downloadable activity. So game instructions can be part of reading too.

Family co-writing and reading can be fun. I co-wrote Cycling Solo: Ireland to Istanbul with my son Trevelyan, who was the imagination behind There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake when he was four. Trev did ALL the cycling! This year he is walking the Appalachian Mountains trail in USA for five months and we’ll be co-writing about that.

What will you be doing as a National Year of Reading Ambassador?

Talks. Sharing fun ways of reading. Mentoring reader-writers. Online interviews. Introducing new reading fashions like e-books.

Demonstrating ways you might read with children. For example, the Yamba Imparja TV clip on my website of me reading Look There’s a Hippopotamus in the Playground Eating Cake. was to encourage indigenous pre-school literacy habits.

Reading needs a purpose. So far I have offered two performance e-scripts from my website, free for any literacy groups who wish to perform them. “An L of a Difference” has a zany, small businesswoman who uses clever ways of learning to read.

My thanks to Hazel for taking the time to answer these questions. To find out more about Hazel and her involvement with NYR, check out her website.

Like Hazel, I’m also excited about NYR12. I couldn’t imagine my life without reading, and I’m eager to share my enthusiasm. So I was delighted when my old school, Mentone Grammar, asked me to become their Patron Reading Ambassador for NYR12. I’m looking forward to the year ahead. 🙂

Tune in next time, when two more NYR Ambassadors drop by for some questions.

Catch ya later,  George

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Check out my DVD blog, Viewing Clutter.

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