Monday, November 23, 2015

Double Victory at Educational Publishing Awards

Te Reo Singalong books, written and published by Sharon Holt, won twice at the CLNZ Educational Publishing Awards in Devonport on Thursday night.
The series was chosen by the judges as the Best Resource in Te Reo Māori, and the Matariki book was chosen as the winner of the Teachers’ Choice for Best Resource in Te Reo Māori, a new addition to the event. Sharon Holt said taking out both awards was a huge honour, showing that judges and teachers agreed that Te Reo Singalong books were the best resources available in te reo.

“It’s something teachers in primary schools and early childhood centres tell me all the time,” she said. “But it was still a big surprise to hear that we won both awards in that category.”

It was an even sweeter victory because she hadn’t asked her network of customers to vote for her. “When the finalists were announced, we were told about the new Teachers’ Choice awards and encouraged to spread the word through our networks. However, I didn’t want people to vote for my books because they liked me. I wanted teachers to vote because these books are really making a difference in their teaching.”

During the evening, she was approached by category judge Brenda McPherson, who explained that her team of consulting judges from Te Reo Tuatahi teaching network were really impressed with the books in the series.

“I entered the four books that I had written and published during the awards period. Brenda said they couldn’t choose between them, so they decided to award the prize to the series as a whole. I was very encouraged by that, especially when I found out that they had only looked at the words and illustrations and not even listened to the CDs which turn each book into a song!” she said.

The books are illustrated by Deborah Hinde and sung by singer/songwriter Stacy Walker. There are already 10 books in the series, which also won at the Māori Language Awards in 2013. The next book, Te Wairua o Waitangi, is available in January.

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