In the weeks leading up to the Great Book Swap at Moriah College in Sydney’s east, students in classes K to Year 6 watched the video Reading Opens Doors. The teacher-librarian at the school, Josephine Laretive, spoke to the youngsters about the work our Foundation does in remote communities and the need to raise funds so quality, culturally appropriate literacy materials can be delivered to schools where there are very few books and often no library at all.
“The video generated much discussion,” says Josephine. “Especially when we looked at the map showing where the books go. We also discussed why some of the picture books the students recognised have been translated into Indigenous languages.”
Last year, the Great Book Swap at the college ran over four days in the week of Indigenous Literacy Day in September. Each of the 26 classes was allocated a day for swapping books at lunchtime. The event had been promoted for several weeks, including in the school’s newsletter, so everyone had plenty of time to sort through their books at home and decide which one – or ones! – they wanted to swap.
One or two students from each class were nominated as Great Book Swap ambassadors, easily identifiable by the sticker they wore, which bore the ILF logo. Having watched our shorter video in which our lifetime ambassador, popular children’s author Andy Griffiths explains how to take the book swap challenge, these students became responsible for collecting the books from their classmates and taking them to the library for sorting.
An "honesty system" was set up and the gold coin donations for books swapped were collected on a trust basis.
“The students’ awareness of the importance of being able to read was definitely raised,” says Josephine.
Sign up for a Great Book Swap here.