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?