A Lattitude Volunteer In Fiji: Laurel’s Story
So my placement in Fiji is a teaching placement, at a primary school called Marist Convent in Ovalau. Myself and another Lattitude volunteer Ashlee are here for 2 school terms and the first school term we were teaching.
During our first term, we found the library which had been neglected and needed a lot of organising and tidying so we asked our head teacher if we could change our role to librarians when we began term 2. The first four or five weeks we worked hard to organise, clean and decorate the library and then we had a donation of a few hundred books from an Australian charity called Bula Books, so we added these fantastic aids to the collection of books and organised a timetable for classes to come in and have the opportunity to read and borrow books.
We spoke to teachers about students who need help with their reading and began a 40 minute reading programme twice a day every weekday inviting a few of those students who need extra help from each class for one on one sessions. It’s been fantastic to watch the students grow in confidence when they read and very rewarding.
We decided that the children would benefit more if they could come to the library more than once a week and outside of class time too so we began staying in at recess and lunchtimes and made a timetable for different activities, quiet reading, storytelling sessions, colour and crafts and fun and games. The quiet reading sessions have been really popular, we have almost 50 children lined up outside the library, the response has been fantastic. The children come in and pick books to read and sit with their friends or by themselves and it’s wonderful to see them so interested. They eat their lunch and then come straight to the library to spend as much time as possible reading the new books; it’s really wonderful to see.
I really am having such a wonderful time here, I’ll be sad to say goodbye and go home at the end of next month!