Kahikatea Tree at Papakura South School

Kahikatea Tree at Papakura South School
Martha-Lee and Madeline

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Duffy Role Model Speech

Good morning, I am Talia Rout, currently head girl at Papakura High school. I am here today to talk to you about the importance of reading and how it got me to where I am in life.
When I was younger I attended Cosgrove Primary, a school just down the road. Kelvin Road was a very familiar school to me as we always played sports in the interschool competitions. I was sitting down there just like all of you are, listening to guest speakers, never thinking that one day I will be the one up here encouraging others like you to read.Firstly let’s start with where reading has got me and where it may get you to in life. Through my childhood I was taught to read at an early age with lots of books surrounding me as both my parents were teachers. When I was in the junior school, every day we sat down and did our reading in our reading groups, I’m sure just like you guys do. Through my primary schooling this stayed the same and I continued to read frequently. I not only read in class and the homework that I was given but in the holidays I would sometimes enjoy reading a book to help me relax. I can remember a book that I really enjoyed and read it through about 2 or 3 times. The book was called ‘My Guardian Angel.’
In saying this I went through a stage in my childhood that I stopped doing the extra reading. At this stage I felt that reading was not important in my life and my schooling. It was very soon after that I had a talk with my parents, who sat me down and explained how important reading is in everyone’s life and made me understand the importance of reading which made me quickly start up again.Reading can get people a long way and I believe reading is one reason I have achieved the things I have. I am very sporty person who loves exercising and having fun playing sport. When I was year six I won the top sports award that is presented at year the six dinner that they do every year at Cosgrove. I continued my sport through my intermediate where I went to Mansell (which some of you may of heard of) where I was deputy head girl and now in my high school years. During this time my main sports was gymnastics and sports aerobics.I did gym and aerobics for a total of 16 years and it was very important that I could read. When I was competing I had to read my routines that my coach had given me. If I hadn’t been taught how to read or if I hadn’t read when I was younger I would have struggled in sport, especially gymnastics. A lot of reading is involved in sports reading and understanding cues, rules and sporting manuals. Things you won’t be able to understand if you don’t have that reading ability.Another place that I have used my reading ability in quite a bit is my drama and acting.
Up until last year I was a professional actor performing in musicals on stage. Musicals are a little different to normal shows as it is not only acting but a lot of singing and dancing as well. Reading was very important as I needed to read the lines of the song and read and understand the lines and dialogue I had to say on stage. This was where the important reading techniques I learnt when I was younger became very useful and one day I am sure you will put your skills in just like me.
Put your hands up if fiction books are your favorite?? Okay now put your hands up if non fiction books are your favorite?? Put up your hand if you just like books all together? Yeah cool, well for me I really enjoy reading a good fiction book. When I was little these were the ones I enjoyed most and the ones I still read now. But for my different activities and roles I took on I need to read lots of different things and some things that I was not really use to reading. At start some of this was quite hard but I just kept on trying and I soon became easier and that what you guys need to do. In life through your schooling and in other situations you may find things that are very hard. When you come to an obstacle it is important that you do not turn away from it and push it to the side, as this will not achieve anything. Keep trying at it no matter how hard it is to begin with. I promise you it will become a lot easier as you work at it. Your teachers are here for a very special reason, for you. I know for a fact, you have an amazing group of teachers here at Kelvin Road School who are here for your benefit. They want to see you get the most of the opportunities in life you have and want to see you achieve as well. The teachers are always willing to help you with your reading if you are someone who finds it harder than the others. I suggest that you go up to your teacher one time and say you are having trouble with this and I am positive they will do as much as it will take to help you overcome your obstacle.
Around my room I have many sports quote that I look at every day, which helps me to motivate myself and encourage me to be the best I can be to SHINE. My most favorite one which has a special place in my room reads….. “Keep practicing and you will eventually achieve.” And now from now on that’s what I want you to think about. When something is hard, don’t push it away, think oh that girl Talia said we have to keep tracking at it. If you do that you will achieve it in no time.
As you know this is my last year in high school then next year I am going onto university which will be my last stage of education. In the future I plan to study sports science or physiotherapy to become a physiotherapist. I have worked very hard to get to where I am now. There were many things and people that helped me along the way and get to where I am but I believe one of the most important things that had a major influence on my position here today was reading. We read when we don’t even realize we are doing it and that is the beauty of it. Reading can take you anywhere and help you achieve anything you want in life and it is a very important skill that you should start doing from an early age just like I did.
I not only enjoyed reading books but I also enjoyed poems. I can still remember my favorite poem from when I was aged six. It was so called “Now I am six” and it goes something like this.
When I was one I had just begunWhen I was two I was nearly newWhen I was three I was weeWhen I was four I was not much moreWhen I was five I was just aliveBut I now I am six I am as clever as clever so I think I will stay six for ever and ever.
That was my favorite poem and I still remember it 11 years later.
So overall you too can achieve your goals if you read and remember… ‘It’s cool to read its cool to achieve!!!’

Thank you :)

Talia Rout

Head girl

Papakura High School


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