Mom sources 1 000 books to help build library at Manenberg school

School children from Red River Primary in Manenberg sort through books to be used at the school's new library. (Supplied, St James Educational Trust)
School children from Red River Primary in Manenberg sort through books to be used at the school's new library. (Supplied, St James Educational Trust)

Cape Town - Over 1 000 books have been donated from around the world to help build a library at a primary school in Manenberg, thanks to the efforts of one resourceful blogger.

Red River Primary recently received a new building for their school from the National Education Department in November 2015. And with it, came space for a new library.

A Cape Town mother of eight and avid book lover took to her blog site Se7en to try and collect as many books as possible to help populate the new library.

Along with NGOs Biblionef SA and the St James Educational Trust, an NGO that partners with the school, the three groups combined efforts to help fill the shelves, with the school's blessing.

The mom, who prefers to remain anonymous on her blog, first made the call for the books in February.

Three months later, a total of 20 boxes, containing over 1 000 books, were gathered from donations from around the world.

And on Wednesday, they delivered the goods.

Excitement

“The staff and kids were very quiet at first, but their excitement grew as the boxes were opened,” said a spokesperson for the St James Educational Trust.

Pupils at Red River, adorning yellow prefect and head girl bibs, along with Principal Everett Poole, received the books with great joy from the Se7en family.

(Supplied, St James Educational Trust)

Some of the young Se7en children, who are home-schooled and accompanied their mom this particular Wednesday, couldn’t help but start reading to the younger pupils of Red River Primary.

"Just because we can’t see the problem doesn’t mean it does not exist,” one of the Se7en family kids said. "We have books and can visit a library anytime. So we can help by sharing and giving to those who need."

The library’s launch was a hit, with some of the pupils and teachers not wanting to return to class, the staff conceded.

Safe place

“The library becomes important when there is violence in the community,” the St James trust spokesperson said.

“A visit to a community library can be dangerous and fatal as children negotiate the streets. We wanted a library on the school’s premises.

“It is situated within the safe confines of the school, where kids can access great books to read for pleasure, but also to access resources for research.”

The library also has capacity for 10 computers, but still needs to find the resources to acquire them, as well as plastic covers for the books.

For now though, the sheer volume of books would keep many of the 851 pupils at Red River occupied.

"It doesn’t take much to do this,” the Se7en mom added.

“If every one of our readers sends two or three books, you end up with this and it gets bigger every time.”

This is the fifth library that the family has helped build.

The Se7en family.

(Supplied, St James Educational Trust)

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