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Kids Lit Quiz Founder Honoured

Wayne Mills has been awarded the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's New Year Honours list 2011.

The New Zealand Order of Merit, established in 1996, is awarded to those "who in any field of endeavour have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions, or other merits".    

Wayne Mills is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland in the Faculty of Education. In March 2008 he was awarded the Margaret Mahy Medal in New Zealand for his substantial and distinguished contribution to both national and international literature and literacy. Wayne launched the Kids Lit Quiz in New Zealand in 1991, concerned that his children's school prize giving never included awards for keen readers. He wanted to make children who love books as highly valued as school sports stars in his sports-mad country, with national TV coverage, trophies and trips to compete in exciting venues to spur them on.

The Kids' Lit Quiz is an annual literature competition for children aged 10 to 13. It puts readers onto the stage and lets them compete for fantastic prizes. The quiz has heats in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada and China; winning teams qualify for national and world finals. The Kids' Lit Quiz is not for profit and run entirely by volunteers.

Jacky Atkinson, UK National Co-ordinator of the Kids Lit Quiz said: " We are all absolutely thrilled that Wayne's work and all he does to encourage a real love of reading has been recognised and honoured.  It is a wonderful accolade for the Kids Lit Quiz too."  

The Kids Lit Quiz 20th Birthday International Celebration Quiz will take place in New Zealand in July 2011. Two teams from the UK will compete. The winning team from Cockermouth School (UK champions) and the team from Bristol Grammar School (English champions.)

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