Our library at the Red Cross Special Education and Resource Centre
The second Buk bilong Pikinini library was opened in September 2008, at the Red Cross Special Education Resource Centre in Hohola, Port Moresby. It provides educational assistance to approximately 200 disabled children enrolled at the school. Alongside the national curriculum, the school teaches sign language as most of the children are hearing impaired. When Buk bilong Pikinini first discovered the school there was no library and only a few books. The special needs learning materials available to the children were very limited.
Thanks to a generous 5,000 dollar donation by Sir Theo Constantinou of Airways Hotel and Monier (who have now sponsored our library at Nine Mile), Buk bilong Pikinini was able to establish the library which was until 2011 sponsored through donations made to Buk bilong Pikinini. In 2011 the prestigious Sidney Myer Foundation chose to grant 29,000 dollars to Buk bilong Pikinini through the Foundation's Beyond Australia Programme. BbP has just signed an agreement with the Ausenco Foundation for sponsorship of the library from July 2013 and the next three years, which will provide an amazing boost for the library. The library will receive a general upgrade of new sign language materials but will also get much requested portable DVD players for visual phonics and learning. Buk bilong Pikinini will also be able to develop a Disability Awareness programme thanks to the support from the Ausenco Foundation and will in this way be able to reach more vulnerable disabled children in all of our libraries.
The library features a large number of sign language books, posters, games and other special needs materials alongside the 2500 books we put in every BbP library. This library has greatly benefitted the children at the school, who have been able to enjoy the stories read out and signed to them by our two librarians. The children also enjoy taking the colorful books home and teaching their families to use sign language.
Noah and Pricilla, our two librarians, are both fluent in sign language and have access to special resources that allow them to teach a basic literacy and numeracy syllabus to the children. Noah, our Head Librarian, is deaf and attended the school himself as a child.
Pictured above left is Frank Kramer of KramerAusenco and the children enjoying their new signing puppet!
Children enjoying their sign language books and materials.
This is what Tom Coulter, BSc, MA, MBA, PGCE, DipEd (SEN) from The Network of Callan Services: education, community based rehabilitation, and health services for people with disabilities had to say after a visit to the library at the RCSERC:
Dear BbP Team
I was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to spend Friday morning at the BbP library at the PNG Red Cross SERC.
I observed a well-run BbP provision with some excellent learning by a group of youngsters which was conducted by Lovelin, a skilled teaching assistant who also has very good signing skills in MSL, far better than mine! My opinion is that the teachers in the Elementary School in the adjoining SERC could learn much from this BbP project.
I can think of no better way to summarise my impressions following my visit than to feed back to you something which was said to me by a PNG person, “If Buk bilong Pikinini could run a deaf school, it would be good”. On the basis of my observations and discussions with staff, I wholeheartedly agree.
With warm regards
Building capacity in Special Education (Hearing Impairment) with Callan Studies National Institute
VSO Volunteer, MI, PO Box 571, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province 441, PNG.
This library is sponsored by: