Meriden’s Junior School students have shared their philanthropic projects with their peers from across the state at the Biennial IPSHA Social Action Expo. The Year 6 Cultural Awareness Team set up a stall to explain the concept and logistics of Meriden’s Great Book Swap which raises funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Mrs Cath Evans, Dean of Academic Care, said the expo was an opportunity for students to collaborate and share their passion for philanthropy.
“The girls were able to explain the concept of the Great Book Swap so effectively to other students and teachers because they are responsible for promoting and organising the event, which is held annually in the Junior School.”
Year 6 student, Melody Chia, said the Cultural Awareness Team enjoyed carrying out the responsibilities involved with the fundraiser.
“In the weeks ahead of the Great Book Swap, we promote the Bookswap, explaining the fundraiser and encouraging everyone to donate books to swap,” she said.
“On the morning of the event, we lay all the books out on tables in the library and the girls can take as many books as they have donated. They bring a gold coin for each book they take home. Then we count all the money and Mrs Evans sends it to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the charity can buy books for people in remote communities.”
The Social Action Expo encouraged the girls to share their philanthropic experience with others and also allowed them the opportunity to hear from inspiring speakers about how small, positive contributions could make a large impact on the world.
Cultural Awareness Team member, Anjana Kailasanathan, said these presentations by adult change-makers were one of the highlights of the event.
“We learnt a lot about how to support each other and how to be kind to others in our community,” she said.
“I think it’s important for students to learn about philanthropy because it helps us to understand that some people don’t have as many resources as we do and that we can help them.”
Mrs Evans said the Great Book Swap is an important fixture in the Meriden calendar and has benefits for both the girls and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
“It’s such a positive fundraiser because it builds on our vibrant reading culture in the Junior School. In the process, our students learn about the scarcity of books in remote Indigenous communities, where literacy levels are lower than anywhere else in Australia. Students are aware that their donations will enable new books to be purchased for children living in these communities.”