In 2020, Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens moved into the world of publishing with the creation of the book
“Ko au e fano ki te akoga ‘ (I am going to school), which has been published in seven different Pacific languages.

There is a shortage of Pacific language books in New Zealand, particularly for the smaller Pacific communities, and this book helps to fill that gap. The book, which has been published in Māori, Samoan, Cook Island Māori, Tongan, Tokelauan, Niuean, and Tuvaluan, is designed so that teachers and families can easily read it to children.

It features four-year-old Atanise Marsters Lotomanu who attended Toru Fetū Kindergarten, and her extended family.

One of the editors, Whānau Manaaki Community Services Senior Lead Caroline Mareko, says starting school can be an anxious time, and the book can help children and families to prepare for the big day.

“We wanted to show the experience as a positive and happy one for both the children and their families,” said Caroline. “It’s also important for children to see their community and their experiences reflected in the books they read.”