Earlier this year, Ms Spears, who manages the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) at Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College in Croydon, was presented with a Jack Petchey Leader Award. She was voted to get this award by students at the school because she has inspired many students to read more and is always there to offer her help. She makes the LRC a welcoming place and is a valued member of the school by both students and staff alike.
Thanks to Ms Spears’ Leader Award, the school were able to apply for a Small Grant of up to £750 from the Jack Petchey Foundation. The students and Ms Spears decided to use the grant to give the LRC a makeover. Students had said that the book shelves were worn out and didn’t hold the books very well. The LRC also had a lot of old and outdated books. Although the LRC is an essential part of the school, not many students utilise it. This project will encourage more students to use the LRC as it will be more comfortable and have better resources.
With the grant money, the school bought brightly coloured bean bags and also vivid fabric to cover the old sofas, as the students said that they wanted the room to be more colourful. The grant was also used to buy new books and book shelves. The school also donated all of the old and outdated books to the British Heart Foundation.
Since the LRC has been revamped, Ms Spears has seen an increase in students using the facility, not only to use the computers but also as a place to read books and complete their homework.
Some of the Norbury Manor students commented, “I now enjoy coming into the library because it is more comfortable and relaxing” and “I don’t normally come into the library to do my homework but now I do.”
Overall, the makeover of the LRC has made a big difference to the students at Norbury Manor, as they now have a comfortable, colourful and inviting place to study and work.
Ms Spears said, “The new furniture has made a real difference to students wanting to come into the library. They are taking pride in their library, in their space. Having students involved in the design, planning and organisation of the makeover was really beneficial as they realised that the LRC belonged to them and it was there not only for them to use but also to look after.”
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