The heart of a school is the library, and when schools invest in dedicated library staff, literacy flourishes.
Last week, I saw the difference that great librarians make, not just in fostering a love of literacy, but also in the well-being of a whole school community. Colleen Wright and her enthusiastic library team at Bunbury Catholic College go above and beyond to make their library an exciting, safe and welcoming space. And not just for students. They love welcoming authors and illustrators.
Visiting the BCC library feels like being a rock star. There are giant book cover posters and cleverly curated displays extending the themes, character details, and setting of stories. The last time I was there, the team built a huge lighthouse – with a working light!
This time my visit focused on The Dog with Seven Names, a novel the Year Eight students are reading. This wartime story, set in the Pilbara, is told anthropomorphically through the eyes of a small dog, separated from its owner. During the novel, it’s given seven different names; Princess, Dog, Flynn, Engel, Pooch, Genji, and Florence. Colleen’s library team created an amazing display for each. Some are shown below.
Other library displays included dogs in literature and information about anthropomorphism. There were dress-up your dog images for students to contribute to, student-made newspaper articles based on events in the story, a brilliant ‘make an alternative cover’ activity, and a competition to guess which dog belongs to which teacher. I’ll post more about these great extension ideas soon.
As if all this wasn’t enough, we had a morning tea with students who’d read a certain number of books, and one of the students, Jess, crafted a beautiful necklace for me. It’s based on the cover image with a small dog and a separate aeroplane tag. I Iove it.
Thank you Bunbury Catholic College for a fabulous visit and for all the great things you do to inspire a love of reading in your students. You are literacy superstars.