Samora Machel starts new year with a new library

Left: Members of the Standard Bank Corporate Social Investment team got their hands dirty to help Samora Machel Primary School have a library.

Pupils and teachers at Samora Machel Primary School in Philippi proudly unveiled their new-look library last week.

Through a big bank’s corporate social investment (CSI) department and Employee Volunteer Programme, RAK Events has been focusing on establishing school libraries in primary schools across the country.

And when Vukani visited, the Standard Bank staff were busy painting and drawing at the library.

School principal Mzukisi Yona said pupils and teachers faced a lack of study materials, as the school library had been inadequately resourced. As a result, he said, pupils had to walk long distances to other libraries in the community.

Expressing his excitement that the school had been lent a helping hand, Mr Yona said: “We are not aware how they knew that we have a small library with few books.

“It’s really unbelievable, considering the dire situation of the lack of resources we find ourselves in.

“The donation of books will make a huge difference.

“Reading has always been a challenge to some of our children, but now they will have an opportunity to improve in their learning areas.” In addition to being refurbished, the good Samaritans also donated reading materials suitable for children of different ages.

Michelle Wohlberg of RAK Events said the aim of the programme was to cultivate a love of reading among pupils in the foundation phase, with the aim of improving the level of literacy in those grades. She added that the selected school identifies an available classroom or other space that will be suitable to implement a library. She said alternatively the school will identify three classrooms in which library corners are established.“The team goes into the schools to prepare the classroom for library implementation. It is then cleaned, painted and general repairs are taken care of where necessary. Library related wall art is drawn onto the walls and shelving is custom made to kit out the library,” she explained.

She said Standard Bank employees were encouraged to “adopt” the school library and revisit the school to run literacy activities such as reading circle and comprehension days.