It was with much excitement that Leopold Primary School, near Geelong in regional Victoria, won our annual Great Book Swap House competition, and had a very special virtual visit with ILF Ambassador, Jessica Mauboy!
The celebrated singer and songwriter zoomed in across multiple large screens, mirroring over 700 enthusiastic students, to celebrate Leopold and their incredible fundraising efforts for our Foundation.
Following a beautiful Acknowledgement of Country from Year Five student Mikaela White, the students broke into cheers, clapping their hands and stamping their feet as Jess came on their screens. There was even an audible “It’s Jessica Mauboy!!!” from one excited student in the audience.
“Hello everyone!” said Jess, waving and beaming at the students, “It’s great to be here in Leopold…well, on your screen!”
Jess started off by thanking all the students for holding a Great Book Swap and fundraising for the ILF, before sharing stories about why and how ILF work to empower remote communities on their literacy journey with access to new culturally relevant books and publishing books created by communities in first languages.
Soon enough, it was time for a special book reading of ILF favourite No Way, Yirrikipayi!
“Are you ready for a story?” said Jess, breaking out into song, “I’m so excited to read this book to youuuuu.”
The kids laughed and chanted along with the book, learning the Tiwi words for the different animals, before being surprised by the ending.
“Wow, that must be one long snake!” one student exclaimed.
After the book reading, it was time for some dancing.
Year One student Shelby Jakupek kicked things off with a traditional dance, which was met with raucous applause from all staff and students. They then had their very own master class as Jess taught them the moves to the Barramundi Song – and the words in Tiwi and Mangarrayi!
The students had a ball trying out the new words and actions to the song, laughing and singing along with Jess.
The event ended with question time, and almost everyone had their hands up to ask Jess a question! Teachers picked out students and they came up to the camera to ask Jess their questions.
Students asked what her favourite song is, when she started singing, who was her inspiration as a child and how COVID-19 has impacted her live performances. After an interactive question time, Jess left them with a clear message and a huge smile, “Keep reading...and singing!”
Year Five student Malakai Walker wrapped up the virtual visit thanking Jess and acknowledging how proud Leopold Primary School is to support our Foundation.
Big thanks and congratulations to Leopold Primary School for their successful Great Book Swap, and winning our House competition for 2020! On behalf of Jess we were so happy to be able to celebrate with you.