I know a great challenge many educators/librarians face at this time is encouraging young people to read books, and to enjoy writing!
I can help 🙂
I love to visit schools, libraries, galleries and any other places or events that encourage children, young people and educators. As well as being a writer, I have 19 years experience as an educator –  teaching young people and leading Drama/English departments in South Auckland.

Here are some of the things I can do in a visit to your organization:

Read 2 Succeed
A presentation on the importance of reading, of how reading can change your life! The presentation includes:
  • stories of two people whose lives were changed through reading
  • how the All Blacks and other sportspeople read as part of their jobs
  • ideas of things students can read, especially if they’re reluctant readers

“I can’t tell you how amazing it was to meet David Riley – he really inspired our children so much! Their class teachers having been telling me how they returned to class buzzing to tell them all about David Riley- an author just for them! One child in particular, who really struggles with reading and paying attention was enthralled!”
Claire Johnson. Randwick Park School

“One of our year 10 boys’ classes went to a session at the National Library where David was a speaker.  They were SO ENTHUSED.  The National Library let the boys loose in the shelves and they came back with two huge boxes of books and were absolutely buzzing.”
Jane Ryan. Howick College



Reading Warriors
Reading Comprehension Skills workshops
I teach young people practical strategies they can use to help them become better readers. We use reading material based on the All Blacks as a way to engage the students. We can also use different reading contexts. Reading skills learned include:

  • pre-reading strategies that help warm up our brains before reading
  • strategies that help us understand what we are reading as we read, including what to do if we get stuck
  • post-reading strategies that help us retain information we’ve read and reflect on the reading experience


“I really enjoyed your reading workshop – it gave me lots of ideas on engaging boys in reading particularly.  I have shared with a number of teachers who have been excited with the material they have now found online.  The students I spoke to after the workshop also were inspired to find out more about sports people.  I think your books are particularly relevant for using sport as a context for reading.  Thanks again for such good sessions  – I felt privileged to be part of them.”
Mal Thompson. Adviser, Education Support Services – University of Otago


Writing Warriors
Writing workshops
One of the main purposes of the workshop is to show young people that writing can be fun and that they can be successful at it. Students will create a piece of descriptive writing based on an exciting sporting moment. As well as writing, the students will be moving, competing, acting and speaking! Depending on the level of the students, writing skills covered include:

  • types of sentences
  • dialogue
  • using the senses
  • simile and metaphor
  • point of view
  • punctuation
  • editing

“The best part of today was working as a group to write some good words and sentences. Also it was super cool and funny when we had to do a short play acting out the rugby game and what the players were thinking.”
Brooke. Opaheke School


Profile writing for Senior students
I can help your students write a profile of a person they admire, for their writing portfolio.
“The students were left buzzing at the end of the day. Almost everyone had completed their piece of writing and there was real sense of pride and accomplishment.”
Sarah (English teacher). Hilmorton High School


Workshops for Educators
As a former Head of Department and Specialist Classroom Teacher, I enjoy working with adults as well. I can do presentations/workshops with teachers to help reinvigorate and refresh their thinking. These could include:

  • workshops on how to teach reading comprehension skills
  • workshops on how to teach writing skills
  • a presentation for teachers/librarians/youth workers on ways to help the curriculum engage young people, especially boys

“The staff meeting reminded us of the importance of not just knowing our students, but REALLY knowing our students well, drawing on their strengths and the expertise of the families. The most important thing in any school is the people. David reminded us of this and much more.”
Denise Horley. Opaheke School

“Hi David, I just want to say how much I enjoyed your workshop. Thank you so much, your style of delivery is fun and engaging, and your students are lucky to have you. Thanks also for the resources.”
Karen Schwabe. Greymouth High School

Do you have something else you would like me to do? Let me know … I can customize a visit to meet your needs.


To arrange a visit and to discuss fees 



“David showed the students how people can change their own lives by deciding to do so. Really inspirational. David has such a positive empathetic manner: our boys really responded to him.”
Geraldine Jamieson. Howick College

“Very inspiring presentation from David. Get him in to speak to your boys!”
Michelle Simms. Te Totara School (

“We had David in to speak to 3 sets of classes. By the third one any spare English teachers were also part of the audience as word quickly spread about how great he was with the students.  Inspiring, engaging, and awesome!  Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  We chose to target our lower ability classes – lots of students who don’t read!  But he was just as interesting to our higher ability students who love reading.  I would highly recommend him.”
Trish Webster | Rangitoto College

“It honestly was the coolest thing ever! Seeing all these boys so genuinely excited about choosing books and the books they chose, it really makes it all worthwhile. One of my colleagues was coming back from lunch and came across 3 boys downstairs all standing in the foyer, all with reading books they had just chosen. How cool is that! The Howick College librarian emailed me this morning to say that she popped in to see the class of boys who came on Friday and they proudly showed off the books they had chosen. ”
Fuatino Leaupepe-Tuala | Programme Advisor, Priority Learners, Maori & Pasifika | Services to Schools

“I really enjoyed David’s presentation. My Master’s research  identified effective teaching practices to promote Pasifika achievement in English. I found David’s ideas really chimed with my own thinking. In particular, I was interested to see how he made use of students’ cultural and individual strengths as a resource for learning. And, of course, the rugby league stuff is great.”
Richard Watkinson | Assistant Head of English | Mount Albert Grammar School

“It was a fantastic day for all our year 8s. I have been inspired! Quite a number of our students mentioned that they enjoyed your session very much, that you were their favourite author for that day and they would recommend that you come again next year for the new batch of year 8s.” Serena Griffiths | Bucklands Beach Intermediate

“As part of Auckland Art Gallery’s family programming, author David Riley delivered a special reading and art-making activity in the Story Corner. Visitors of all ages enjoyed a reading from his book We are the Rock and participated in a creative hands-on activity inspired by the story. At the Gallery, we aim to provide high quality, free programming where families can be creative together. Event’s like David’s provide an opportunity for local and global stories, histories and artworks to be connected in new ways and shared with families in a friendly and creative environment.” Auckland Art Gallery

“Two of my girls want to buy a copy of your Benji book for their older brothers! The class were stoked with your visit and are still talking about it! Thanks again David! A huge success!”
Sally Pendergrast | Onewhero Area School


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