Sunday, August 8, 2010

Writing in Mangapapa

In an old copy of The New Beacon Reader, Book Six, Dominion Edition published by Ginn and Company Ltd in London (no date, assumed 1920s-30s), a young Allen Weymouth once marked the book as his and also identified his school and town. His dutiful rite of ownership left a trail for a curious researcher many decades into the future (I wish young Allen would have added a date). What caught my eye and piqued my interest, though, was the unusual name of the school: Mangapapa

Mangapapa is indeed a school in the town of Gisborne, which I was not familiar with and soon learned that it is located in New Zealand, far away across a vast ocean from where I found the book in Texas. How this book traveled such a great distance is an exercise in imagination and fantasy.

More than just a school name, Mangapapa is actually the name of a Gisborne suburb north of the city.

A young boy's writing in his school book many years ago has introduced me to a new place in the world. The young students at Mangapapa today are involved in another kind of writing, for which they appear to have quite a passion. The students, from Year One on up, are learning about writing at various levels, as are their teachers, and creating stories out of a developing passion for the written word. Read all about their "exciting learning journey in written language," Writing Gems, on the Mangapapa site.

A quote from that site states:
"In 2008 we are thrilled to be able to say that all students at Mangapapa have a passion for writing and are showing flair and creativity in the stories they write."
That was two years ago. I certainly hope that holds true today in 2010. How many schools can boast that all their students have a passion for writing?

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