Last month, Kiwi Ferns Raquel Anderson and Shontelle Woodman toured schools in Waikato and Auckland spreading the word about education.

As Duffy Books amabassadors, the pair attended assemblies at Tainui Full Primary School, Pukemiro School, Waipa Primary School and Ngaruawahia Primary School giving the gift of learning and promoting the message that ‘It’s Cool to Read and Cool to Achieve’.

For Kiwi Fern Raquel Anderson, her school visit was extra special. Going back to Tainui Full Primary School to share her journey into the Kiwi Ferns jersey, the school she attended as a youngster, had her reminiscing on her days as an eager student.

“I absolutely loved going back to my old primary school it brought back all those feel good memories,” she said.

“There was one boy with autism and aspergers who I’d heard hated going to assembly last year. When I gave him his books he was smiling from ear to ear and even helped me hand out the books to other the kids. That was a precious moment and reminded me just how special it is for these schools to be involved with the Duffy Books in Homes programme.

“Having gratitude, getting a good education and giving back to the community are just as important to being a Kiwi Fern as taking to the field so putting these sort of things into practice are very rewarding for us players,” she added.

Duffy Books in Homes is a literacy programme aimed at breaking the cycle of booklessness in decile 1 – 4 primary and intermediate schools throughout New Zealand. There are 517 schools on the programme and over 100,000 children who get to choose five brand new books each per year as well as the opportunity to ‘earn’ extra books through the ‘Caught Being Good Awards’ incentive.