From the Office - Linda Vagana

Read more
 What we do


To inspire a love of books in Duffy children so they become adults who inspire a love of reading 

We will achieve our vision by:

  • Creating and enhancing the desire for children to read through book ownership.
  • Reaching out to an ever-widening range of children and communities.
  • Developing our programmes to meet the specific needs and aspirations of our diverse communities.
  • Developing an interlinked network of people and organisations to collaborate on how to best meet the needs of our students and their communities.
  • Constantly keeping our vision, mission and values at ‘top of mind'.

The philosophy behind the programme is simple - to break the cycle of 'booklessness'.  Kids who can't read become adults who can't communicate and that's a serious disadvantage in a world that operates on the written word.


Duffy children with books

The schools are selected from areas where the children are most likely to come from bookless homes.  The Ministry of Education allocates schools a decile rating of between one and ten, according to the socio-economic status of the community in which a school is based.  Duffy Books in Homes focuses on lower decile schools.  Why?  Because over half the parents in decile one catchments are without a school qualification.  Furthermore, 42 percent of parents in decile one catchments received income support in the year preceding the 1996 Census, compared to just seven percent for decile ten catchment areas.  Quite simply, the children from these schools are most likely to come from bookless homes.


Alan's self-help philosophy is reflected by the fact that each school joins in a financial partnership with their supporters/donors to fund their books.  There are approximately 80 titles per Book Offer and these titles are different from one offer to the next.  Duffy Coordinators and Principals at Book Selection meetings conducted by Duffy Books in Homes choose these titles.  All books for Book Offers One, Two, and Three are supplied by Scholastic NZ.  Each book has a sticky label which has the child's name in it as well as the name of the school and sponsor who have given the book.


Since its inception, the programme has grown rapidly. There are currently over 500 schools and 290 early childhood centres with over 100,000 kids all receiving a minimum of five books per year.

Find the location of a Duffy school in your area.





  How we do it  

The book offers


Three times a year a book catalogue is delivered to each child on the programme. There are approximately 80 titles per book offer and these titles are different from one offer to the next. Duffy Coordinators, principals and children at Book Selection meetings conducted by Duffy Books in Homes choose the titles. All books for Books Offers One, Two and Three are supplied by Scholastic NZ. Each book has a sticky label which has the child's name, as well as the name of the school and sponsor who gave the book. Each child receives five book offer books a year.

At the end of Terms One and Three special Role Model assemblies are held at every school. Sportspeople, musicians, artists, writers, radio personalities, television presenters, fashion designers and many other New Zealanders visit Duffy schools, present books and talk to the kids about their achievements and goals. They tell the kids "It's Cool to Read and Cool to Achieve" and make a connection between success and reading. The last week if Term Two is Government Book Week during which the New Zealand Government funds one book per child. MPs and other politicians are invited to schools to present these books.

See our latest Book Offer Brochure here.


 Duffy awards and events



Caught being good award


In addition to Duffy kids receiving at least five books each a year, they have the opportunity to earn more books through a weekly Caught Being Good award. This award not only reinforces positive behaviour, it places value on books as a reward and gives teachers a chance to play an even more positive role in their students' lives.

The Scholastic Caught Being a Good Mum, Scholastic Caught Being a Good Dad and the Caught Being a Good Grandparent awards celebrate Mother's and Father's Day and grandparents. A book and certificate is awarded to parents and caregivers who have been reading to their kids at home or at school.



Duffy Theatre


The Duffy Theatre, proudly supported by FleetPartners and the Mazda Foundation, performs their extraordinary show to every primary school on the programme.  Duffy and his friends come to life and have extraordinary adventures inside the magical world of books,emphasising the excitement that reading can bring into children's lives.  2017's performance is called 'Duffy and Global Girl Save the World' and opens up a wide world of reading to inspire children.






Christmas offer


Each December, parents have the chance to choose books at a discounted price to give to their Duffy Kid as a Christmas present or to read during the summer holiday period.



School leaders


The School Leaders Assembly is where local secondary school students visit their nearest Duffy school and talk with Duffy kids about goal-setting and their own achievements since starting secondary school. Duffy kids love being able to see that they don't have to wait until adulthood to start making their mark on the world.



The Mainfreight award


The Mainfreight Award for Excellence in Attitude is presented at a special end of year assembly to one student who has displayed all round excellence. This award is generously sponsored by Mainfreight and many Duffy schools make it their main end-of-year award.



The early childhood programme


The Ready for Reading Programme  (R4R) is the latest initiative launched by Duffy Books in Homes. Preschoolers in equity funded centres are given the chance to choose their own books twice a year - just like the ‘big kids'. Being able to start primary school with an established love of books makes the teachers' task that much easier.

  See an example of the results achieved by becoming a Duffy School  





Powered by sandfield