David Riley is Head of Performing Arts and the Specialist Classroom Teacher at Tangaroa College in Otara South Auckland. He wrote this book to encourage his students - particularly young Pacific Island students - to read and to inspire them with stories they can relate to about sport, music, business, talent, luck and perseverance.
Pacific Island Correspondent Michael Field says We Are The Rock! "is a beautiful little thing". As heard on Nine to Noon, Radio NZ, National Programme, 26 May 2012.
You can follow David at Reading Warrior
"One of the best things I like about teaching, is finding ways to encourage young people who don’t have a strong English literacy background. I was lucky to have been brought up with books and reading, but I know that many young people have not had that kind of upbringing for different reasons.
I love to write material that will show them that reading can be interesting, fun and inspiring. I also want them to know that they can become good readers. Sometimes, especially with boys, it’s just a matter of finding something “cool” to read to get them started.
From that foundation young people can then go on to write their own stories, whether it be in the form of novels, plays, lyrics, poetry etc. Young people have amazing stories to tell. They just need that encouragement to know they have important things to share and the confidence to believe they can share their stories too. It’s great that they see me publishing my writing because then they can see it’s achievable for them too.
I grew up in Mangere and attended Viscount Primary, Arahanga Intemediate and Mangere College [seek the heights!]. I played schoolboy rugby league for Manukau [the mighty Magpies!]
I attended Auckland University and gained a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology."