We’ve had an extremely colourful past couple of weeks, starting with the Reconciliation Display in which our wonderful Indigenous Education Worker, Mrs Busbridge, organised for all students and staff to decorate, sign and create messages on leaves in house colours to adorn a reconciliation tree. Many students have commented on how much they like the tree, and it’s been an absolute joy to have such bright and bursting colour adorning the display wall. In the past couple of years, I’ve been actively accruing more Indigenous Australian fiction and non-fiction into the library – so Reconciliation Week is also a great opportunity to display some new additions to our collection.
On Thursday, the library held our third annual Write a Book in a Day event in aid of the Kids’ Cancer Project charity. Over a hundred students from Year 7 through to Year 11 donated $980. They formed fourteen teams to write and illustrate 3500-5000 word books from the start of Period 1 through to 8pm, for children aged 10-16 years in hospitals throughout Australia.
The enthusiasm was immense – with the numbers of students wanting to be involved increasing each year and the excitement leading up to the day, completely contagious. From the start of this school year we’ve been repeatedly asked, “When will it be Write a Book in a Day?” Followed by, “It’s the best day ever!” So this year, while zipping between all the teams tucked into their cubbies and corrals, when students expressed how much they were loving it, I asked them to tell me more.
There’s general consensus that all the snacks (a veritable collective truckload of sugar…), dressing in oodies, hanging out with friends (including getting to run around the quad on break at night - they were supervised!) is fun, but also an awareness that if it was only that they’d eventually become bored. What really makes it special for students is the challenge of working as a team to create entire books (the parameters are only given to each team at the start of the day so there can be no pre-planning of the story) along with knowing these stories will be sent to kids who aren’t so fortunate as to be able to be at school participating in such an event.
What I personally love is that it isn’t solely the writery/arty students who get involved - there are a lot of students who simply want to be part of the fun, but in the process benefit from learning more about creative collaboration. I also deeply appreciate how it takes energy, dedication, time, and big hearted love from a whole other type of team to support the event, as you’ll see in our Write a Book in a Day 1-minute video. Mr Jones, Mrs Pratt, Ms Predi, Mrs Serone, Mrs Busbridge, Mr Campbell etc. were all stars - along with the amazing can-do willingness of the Maintenance team to shift heavy furniture and ferret out reclusive whiteboards from across the school for the event…
We’ll be printing this year’s books to join our collection of the previous two years and all are welcome to come along and enjoy our students’ creative efforts!
Ms Melaina Faranda