School’s helping hand to drought ravaged country cousins

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Students from Jamisontown Public School with some of the donated books. Photo: Melinda Jane

They live over 500km apart and have never met, but students from Jamisontown Public School and Pilliga Public School now share a special bond thanks to a few hundred books.

Hosting their annual Book Week fundraiser with a twist, students from Jamisontown Public School raised $500 worth of books to donate to students attending drought affected Pilliga Public School.

Organising the fundraiser, Teacher-Librarian Tracey Jones said it was great to see local families getting on board for the cause.

“We thought that it would be a great idea if our school could this year put our thoughts into those in the drought and donate books to a drought school,” she said.

“Our families have always been very helpful and generous, and it was quite lovely to see.”

Located in rural NSW, with just nine students currently enrolled, Pilliga Public School has felt the impact of the drought with many of the students’ parents doing it tough.

Students from Jamisontown Public School with some of the donated books. Photo: Melinda Jane

It is for this reason that Seonaid Stewart, Principal of Pilliga Public School, said the donation meant a great deal to their small community.

“When we got Tracey’s phone call and generous offer I was obviously very chuffed that another public school had thought about how they could help other students in the drought and they had chosen us,” she said.

“There is very little ready cash at the moment in all our families, so things like our book fair was not as well supported this year as previous years as new books are not deemed as a necessity just now.”

Collecting $400 worth of books and an extra $100 worth from Scholastic, the reading material will help to fill Pilliga Public School’s new library that was recently converted from their outside playroom.

But once the books are delivered, the relationship between the schools won’t end there, with plans for student excursions and electronic communication to further establish a connection with the students.

“Not only are we able to help them in a sort of physical sense by sending books, but we also may get a relationship, which helps both sides of the kids’ learning about each other,” Ms Jones said.

Lauren Suttie

Lauren Suttie is the Weekender’s General & Community News journalist.

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