Learners at Athlone North Primary once again have access to library books after a fire in March destroyed their library, a Grade R classroom and minor hall.
The fire had a devastating effect, not just for learners but also for staff. Principal Beverly Daniels said they had worked hard since 2010 to secure a library for the school.
“When I started at the school, it did not have a library. When we worked on building the library, we used to store books at local churches. In December last year, the school spent R20 000 on new books for the library. We made it our goal to buy the books. We also received boxes of books donated to us – some came from as far as Australia.”
But out of the ashes came new hope.
After considering a number of schools as part of their 2018 CSI programme, Oxford University Press South Africa decided that Athlone North Primary School was an obvious choice. The school’s 579 learners had been stranded without access to books and other vital resources.
Handing over the beautiful container to the school last week, Oxford’s Managing Director, Steve Cilliers said, “Having access to books and resources found in a library is critical to a child’s development. We are delighted to be donating the container library to Athlone North Primary.”
The container has been decorated inside and out. Artist Izak Volgraff was commissioned to paint the container with the assistance of Oxford staff members who also donated numerous games, toys and resources to help with furnishings and décor.
The 12-metre container has been fitted with sturdy shelving, an interactive carpet, curtains, a fan, a chair for the teacher on duty, and 30 handmade pillows for learners to sit on and enjoy their books.
The library will be stocked with over 700 books donated by Oxford University Press South Africa.
Oxford University Press South Africa also thanked all those who joined forces to help make this project happen: AAD Trucks sponsored the transportation of the container, Builders Warehouse Tokai assisted with carpeting, Crazy Chairs Woodstock assisted with the chair and Mia Grobler made the pillows.
Thank you Oxford University Press and partners for making this happen. It’s partnerships like these that make a real difference to people’s lives.
Liesl Smit – Senior Reporter and Anchor, Smile 90.4FM News