THERE'S a growing number of bookworms within the Denman Public School (DPS) community, thanks to a brilliant nation-wide initiative.
And, the students, teachers and parents have certainly welcomed the Books in Homes Australia (BIHA) program.
In the past nine months, BHP - and, in particular, Muswellbrook's Mt Arthur Coal - has donated more than 1500 quality texts to DPS families - and the school's library.
On Tuesday, during a special assembly, the mining company's communications officer Andrew Marsh and Upper Hunter author Paula Stevenson presented the pupils with their latest batch of "literary classics".
"BIHA is an incredible initiative and a wonderful opportunity for all students at DPS to engage with high-quality reading material," principal Megan Druitt said.
"Every DPS pupil is eligible to receive three books of their choice at no cost to families over four school terms.
"A big thank you goes to BHP Queensland and New South Wales, as well as Mt Arthur Coal, for choosing us for this fantastic opportunity.
"Denman Public School's final book presentation will be in Term 3 when students receive their last books, reaching in excess of a staggering 2000 texts distributed to local families in Denman and surrounding districts."
Mrs Stevenson also addressed the youngsters to discuss her experience of being a writer and living in the bush with her many pets on her farm.
"It's great to see the kids embracing books," she said.
"As a children's author and an avid reader, I do everything I can to encourage them to read.
"The Books in Homes Australia program is fabulous.
"I'm impressed by the array of titles available, too."
BIHA is a charitable foundation that provides books of choice to children living in remote, disadvantaged and low socio-economic circumstances, ensuring crucial early literacy engagement and the development of reading skills needed for lifelong achievement.
The program aims to overcome the inequality of educational opportunities in communities where access to books for families is limited or non-existent - and resources are often scarce.
Since 2001, BIHA has distributed nearly 2.5 million new books to kids throughout schools and communities around Australia.
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