Wallsend Public School opens revamped library after partnering with parents

Read about it: Grace Hensel, Jack Ball, Joh Kaurijoki-White, librarian teacher Rhonda Creasey and Sandra Colman. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Read about it: Grace Hensel, Jack Ball, Joh Kaurijoki-White, librarian teacher Rhonda Creasey and Sandra Colman. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

WALLSEND Public School’s revamped library is a lesson in collaboration.

The school and its parents and citizens committee have each contributed $10,000 to the $20,000 project, which has brightened the area and created five flexible learning spaces. 

“If we can do this, anyone can do it,” P&C president Joh Kaurijoki-White said of the partnership.

“There’s only so much money available from the government. If we can help, we do.

“We have families struggling who still wanted to support the initiative.”

Ms Kaurijoki-White said principal Sandra Colman asked the P&C at the start of 2017 if it would be interested in helping to fund the refurbishment.

The P&C pledged to contribute towards the shelving and furniture and raised funds through barbecues, raffles and other activities.

Ms Colman said she was grateful and pleasantly unsurprised by the response.

“They’re such a fantastic team to work with and they want what’s best for the children,” she said.

“They know their hard work benefits everybody.”

The refurbishment has created new spaces that allow students to work either with their class and teacher, alone, fully connected or technology-free. 

“The dull grays and white are out and we have splashes of orange, green and red,” Ms Kaurijoki-White said.

“We want the children to feel more productive, engaged and inspired.”

Ms Colman said the spaces provided a new way to build collaborative working and creative thinking skills.

“It’s very different to what we have in the classroom, which is a more structured table and desk configuration.” 

The Billabong, for example, seats 15 and has an ottoman and stools for quiet reading.