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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Words for Children

Hi everybody I'm commonly known as ‘Big Al’ by the gang but don't let that fool you for I don't consider myself either common or overly large. Writing humorous rhyming poetry has been my favourite pastime for many years and next time perhaps I may bend your ear with a drop. Meantime I would like to chat about how important words are in our lives.

They can be helpful, entertaining, loving and sometimes hurtful so choose them carefully for, once spoken, they are not easily taken back.

Belonging to an organisation whose aim it is to persuade children ‘it’s cool to read’ I get the opportunity to speak to assemblies in low decile schools of 5-11 year olds. Although hard to believe, in many instances these children live in homes where there are no books and nobody encourages them to read. Assisted financially by charitable donations this organisation provides a book of their own choosing for every child (and there are upwards of two hundred children at the assembly) which is theirs to take home. The response from the widely diversified ethnic groups is overwhelming.

I try to instil the importance of picking just a few letters from the alphabet which make sense — no doubt a daunting task to a five year old.

The four I choose are HOPE (for hardly a day goes by when they are not using this word in either a pleading or concerned way). KIND (stressing to always be this, especially to one another) and LOVE (to love their families, friends and pets). I find their response rewarding and leave hoping some little thing that I have said will stick with them for life.

Barbara Algie


  1. Well done, Barbara. What a wonderful thing you do. Bringing words to the lives of children who have so few words that are kind, offering both love and hope. Keep up the good work.

    Or should that be The Good Word?
    Also the name of a TVNZ7 Programme that is in its last series I see since the channel will cease to exist in June. Another blow to the arts on TV

    1. Good on you Barbara. It is time the Duffy programme had the positive press it deserves. There are too many people in our society ready to dismiss the positive and highlight the negative. The focus of this programme is, 'empowering children.'
      Working with children and inspiring them to read is indeed a rewarding experience.