We were thrilled to receive several thousand dollars from the I Can Read campaign to purchase readers and resources. In our recent trip to Vanuatu, we visited Vila East Primary School to organise delivery.
It was exciting to see that the Principal, Haward Mala, had organised and with a team of helpers, built a new Literacy Room to house the instructional readers for the classes and has plans to name this resource room The Melanie Jewson Foundation Reading Resource Room. There are just over 800 students at Vila East from Kinder through to Year 8 and many of the class sizes are 45+, presenting significant challenges for the teachers to apply strong and effective guided reading activities and approaches to daily lessons. The one area we can help with significantly is in the provision of reading resources. Haward and the teachers have been committed to honing their skills in this area and have attended a number of after school training sessions. Part of their training involves individual testing of students and using the Benchmarking Kit we provided to place all the resources into appropriate instructional reading levels for the teaching and learning of reading. Haward has introduced English from the beginning of school at Vila East, so the resources we are providing are greatly valued.
Haward and the teaching staff are currently preparing a list of required culturally appropriate readers and resources for their school and once finalised, will place the order through Read Pacific, a company based in Vanuatu and New Zealand. Using a locally based company enables Haward and his staff to visit the store and select the resources that will meet their needs, ensuring that they are in control of the process.
We look forward to continuing the support we have been giving Vila East PS. Thanks to your extraordinary generosity through the end of financial year campaign, we are now negotiating an opportunity with another school in Vila that is in much need of support.